Healthy Wholesome Lunches for Kids


Hormel Top 10 Lunchbox Hacks
“Wholly Guac” is one of the Top 10 Lunchbox Hacks for back-to-school. Photo courtesy of Hormel Foods.

Do your lunches run out of steam a week or two into the school year? If so, you’re not alone. We quickly learn when our children are pleased with the lunches we’ve packed.

When my oldest son was a high school sophomore, a squirrel gave away my son’s deep, dark lunch secret. He (the squirrel) emerged from under our deck with a full bologna sandwich in its mouth. Apparently, my son chucked the sandwich under the deck upon his return from school. The squirrel was quite pleased with his afternoon snack, but I was not.

Create Simple, Wholesome Lunches

Tanya Rodriguez, Hormel Foods cultural anthropologist, said consumers frequently ask her for simple, wholesome lunch ideas.

“I spend a lot of time inside the homes of families all over the country,” Rodriguez said.

Her list of hacks will not only make lunch fun for kids. Even the youngest and pickiest palettes will appreciate tasting a new variety of foods and flavors.

As kids across the country start heading back to school for the upcoming school year, Hormel Foods Corporation (NYSE: HRL), is providing its top “lunch box hacks” of the year to help simplify weekly school lunch and snack time preparation, all while adding some fun surprises when students open their lunch bags. As a travel writer, these ideas are also perfect for feeding your children’s hunger pangs while traveling.

The following list of “lunchbox hacks” has been tested by the company’s culinary experts who developed these fun and stress-free lunches using tasty options.

Lunch Box Hacks

  1. Use a paper straw for a fun twist on a sandwich. Cut meat, cheese, and bread into fun shapes with cookie cutters and slide the shapes onto the straw.
  2. Use waffles, pancakes or bagels instead of bread for a nice change of pace.
  3. Use a frozen Wholly Guacamole® mini as an ice pack to keep your lunch cold. It will be thawed by lunchtime and you can dip your veggies or chips in the guacamole.
  4. Cut large CHI-CHI’S® flour tortillas with a small cookie cutter round to make mini tacos and then use silicone muffin liners to create a build your own taco bar.
  5. Place guacamole, salsa or peanut butter in the bottom of a jar, add veggies and cover with jar lid to save on containers.
  6. For PB&J sandwiches, put the peanut butter on both slices of bread. It keeps the jelly from seeping into the bread of the sandwich and getting soggy by lunchtime. Or for a fun twist on the PB&J, check out the new SKIPPY® P.B. Fruit Bites.
  7. Use muffin liners to keep foods separate in lunch boxes. Silicone muffin liners work especially well.
  8. Wrap a cheese stick with meat and a tortilla then slice it for a new twist on a sandwich.
  9. Build a salad in a disposable beverage glass. Place a fork through the cut out in the lid for a salad on the go.
  10. Write secret messages on bananas. Use a toothpick to write the message like I heart U or U R Beautiful or U R GR8.

What’s great about these lunchbox hacks is parents and kids can prepare the lunches together with everyday items found in most homes and add a wide variety of Hormel Foods brands to the mix. 

ABOUT HORMEL FOODS — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™

Hormel Foods Corporation is a global branded food company based in Austin, Minn. The company has over $9 billion in annual revenues across more than 80 countries worldwide and its brands include these well-known names: SKIPPY®, SPAM®, Hormel® Natural Choice®, Applegate®, Justin’s®, Wholly Guacamole®, Hormel® Black Label®, Columbus ®. Hormel is a member of the S&P 500 Index and the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats and was named one of “The 100 Best Corporate Citizens” by Corporate Responsibility Magazine for the 10th year in a row. Numerous other awards and accolades for its corporate responsibility and community service efforts reflect the company’s commitment to producing quality foods. In 2016, Hormel celebrated its 125th anniversary and announced its new vision for the future — Inspired People. Inspired Food.™ — focusing on its legacy of innovation. For more information, visit

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