CABOT, Vt., Sept. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When getting kids ready for back-to-school, parents go all out to make sure they have everything they need to be successful during the new school year. Many spend weeks during the summer shopping for new clothes, backpacks, and school supplies so their children will be ready to hit the books come September. But with that much attention focused on traditional back-to-school preparations, parents overlook one of the most important things they pack each morning; Their own lunch.
"Packing a lunch is something most of us, especially parents, have been doing nearly every day for years. It has become so routine that many people don't stop to think about what we are putting in our kids' lunch bags, much less our own," says Cabot Health Team Member and Registered Dietitian Regan Jones. "Any old sandwich just won't do; a healthful lunch needs to have the right mixture of whole grains, protein-rich foods, veggies, fruit, and dairy. The good news for parents who want to build a better lunch for themselves and their children is that we all need the same foods, in slightly different amounts. Our new online Brown Bag Builder shows you how."
Cabot's Brown Bag Builder, available online at cabotcheese.coop/brownbag, makes it simple to construct a lunch that won't leave you feeling tired and empty in the afternoon. Getting the right mix of foods to fuel the remainder of your day means including lean protein (like hummus, Light Cheddar or even leftover grilled chicken) and whole grains (tortillas, buns or muffins), as well as nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables and dairy foods. The infographic provides the optimal portion sizes in each food group, and links to examples of healthful, filling foods, perfect for a packed lunch for both adults and kids.
"A lot of people ask me how they can avoid that sinking feeling that comes on around 3PM," says Regan. "Often, what they've packed for lunch is the culprit." Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests casein and whey, both important parts of the protein found in dairy foods, help people feel satisfied after a meal, which may help with maintaining a healthy body weight. Calorie for calorie, protein is more satisfying than carbohydrates or fats, making it an important part of a balanced lunch.
Cabot recipes like Asian Chicken & Cabot Cheddar Lettuce Wraps, Grilled Chicken Pitas with Basil Cheddar Mayonnaise, and Grape-Vanilla Dip with Fruit Skewers are a fun and delicious way to achieve a well-balanced and protein-rich lunch. For more unique and nutritious lunch recipes, visit: www.cabotcheese.coop/recipes.
Asian Chicken & Cabot Cheddar Lettuce Wraps
Makes 6 appetizer servings
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 drops Asian sesame oil
Shredded meat from 2 cooked chicken legs
6 leaves Bibb lettuce
1/2 seedless cucumber, chopped
1 mango, pitted, peeled and diced
1/2 cup seedless grapes
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 ounces Cabot Sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1/2 cup)
To make dressing:
1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until serving time.
To assemble wraps:
1. In small bowl, combine chicken with about 3 tablespoons dressing.
2. Divide mixture among lettuce leaves. Top each with some of remaining ingredients and roll up to form wraps.
Grilled Chicken Pitas with Basil Cheddar Mayonnaise
Makes 4 servings
Basil Cheddar Mayonnaise
3 ounces Cabot Tomato Basil Cheddar or Sharp Cheddar, grated* (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 cups cold water
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
About 1 tablespoon olive oil
4 large rounds pita bread
Thinly sliced vine-ripened tomatoes and zucchini
To make mayonnaise:
1. In small bowl, combine all ingredients; cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble pitas.
To grill chicken and assemble pitas:
1. Place chicken between two sheets plastic wrap and pound with mallet or heavy skillet until about 1/2 inch thick.
2. In large zip-close plastic bag, combine water, salt and sugar; jiggle bag until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add chicken, pressing out excess air; seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Preheat grill to high. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry (discard brine). Lightly coat both sides with oil.
4. Grill until browned on both sides and cooked through to center, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and let stand for 5 minutes for juices to settle.
5. Meanwhile, remove top third from each pita and open to form large pocket; place pockets on grill until warm and lightly colored, about 2 minutes.
6. Slice chicken breasts thinly on bias. Spread one side of each pocket with Basil Cheddar Mayonnaise and top with chicken. Add tomato and zucchini and serve.
Grape-Vanilla Dip with Fruit Skewers
Makes 4 Servings
1 cup Cabot 2% Vanilla Bean Greek-Style Yogurt
3 tablespoons Welch's 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes
1 large banana, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 peeled, cored fresh pineapple, cut into one-inch cubes
1/2 (16-ounce) package fresh strawberries, stemmed
8 to 10 short wooden skewers
Graham cracker sticks or squares (optional)
1. Whisk together yogurt and grape juice until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
2. Toss banana slices in lemon juice to prevent browning; drain.
3. Thread banana slices, strawberries and pineapple cubes alternately onto skewers. Serve fruit skewers with chilled yogurt dip and if desired, graham crackers.
*For an extra protein boost, add 1/2 scoop of Cabot Whey Protein per 1 cup of yogurt.
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop.
Cabot Creamery Cooperative is the world's first cheese maker and dairy cooperative to achieve B Corporation Certification, a validation of its attention to environmental and social impacts on stakeholders.
Contact: Bob Schiers
1.888.214.9444 or firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Cabot Creamery Cooperative