Lara's Pantry Staples
School is back in session, and we're back to packing lunches for our kiddos. LÄRABAR founder Lara Merriken recently shared her tips for getting back into a routine when living life with an elementary schooler.
What do you pack in your son’s lunchbox?
I try to vary it and have foods with lots of color. A sandwich or wrap of natural peanut or almond butter, banana, honey and cinnamon, or PB&J, or turkey with pesto. I include fresh fruit of some kind - berries, melons, stone fruit - whatever is in season. Cheese or yogurt, roasted seaweed snacks or cheddar bunnies, and of course a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip LÄRABAR! It’s his absolute favorite - sometimes he eats so many I have to stop him and remind him that LÄRABARs are not the only food we eat!
What’s your favorite workout?
My very favorite thing to do is to do a strenuous hike high up in the Rocky Mountains. However, since I live in the city I really vary up my routine to keep it interesting. I run consistently, play tennis, take strength training classes, and do yoga.
What are the 5 most important things in your pantry today?
LÄRABAR bars, cherry tomatoes, avocados, roasted seaweed snacks, fresh fruit.
What’s your best time-saving tip for packing lunches and snacks?
Plan ahead and prepare for the week on the weekend. Stock your pantry with healthy, convenient foods that are easy to reach for when you need something quick. Besides the things I mentioned above, I always have hummus, olives, cut-up veggies like cucumbers or even raw beets (amazingly sweet and crunchy like a carrot), and edamame on hand for a quick, healthy snack.
Do you have advice to help get families back into their routine for the school year?
Introduce healthy, new snack items over the summer to determine what your kids enjoy. Don't make a big deal out of something being good for you… that can often backfire. In our house, all food is fun to eat and important - even when we indulge on chocolate or ice cream.
What is one food that kids and parents should eat every day?
It's difficult to pick one, but I would choose avocados. They are so convenient - you can take them anywhere, and they’re incredibly good for you, with beneficial fats, vitamins and minerals, and fiber.