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Summer’s over and it’s back to school time… Okay, technically, we still have over one month left of summer, but with the kids going back to school, it sure feels like summer is over and fall is here…
Getting ready to send the kids back to school is about way more than just making sure that we find every last item on their school supply list. It is also about getting the right items to create healthy—and easy—pack lunches, after-school snacks, and meals at home. While I always like to focus on healthy, it is also important for me to be able to put together meals and snacks quickly and easily. With three boys, all involved in sports and after-school activities, we seem to always be on-the-go. I’m sure many of you can relate to that, right?
So when I head to Giant Eagle to get my groceries, I know that I can find all of the “healthier” choices that I am looking for… and take advantage of great in-store deals with my Giant Eagle Advantage card. One of my favorite aspects of this is earning Fuel Perks. I love saving money when I gas up my car—and all I have to do is buy groceries!
This year, back to school grocery shopping was easier than ever! Some of my favorite finds at Giant Eagle were:
- Frito Lay Multipack: Baked and Popped Mix
- Schwebel’s Sweet Harvest Wheat Bread
- Smucker’s Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread
- JIF Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
- Nature’s Basket Strawberry fruit & grain cereal bars
- Giant Eagle Part-Skim Mozzarella String Cheese
So, for less than $20, I had all of the staple items that I needed to pack nutritious lunches for the next few weeks (obviously, the peanut butter and fruit spread will last much longer than that!)
I felt really good about sending the boys off to their first day of school with the natural peanut butter and strawberry fruit spread sandwich on the sweet harvest wheat bread. Yes, this is just PB&J, but the only ingredients in this fruit spread are strawberries, sugar, fruit pectin, and citric acid—the exact same ingredients that I would use if I were to make homemade jam! I have always loved to make homemade jam because many of the jams, jellies, and fruit spreads that you buy contain high fructose corn syrup, extra preservatives, and colors added. But now, I have a quick, easy, and healthy-as-homemade option that I can buy at the grocery store! So, adding in a strawberry fruit & grain cereal bar, some baked chips, and some carrot sticks and cucumber slices, the boys had a healthy and filling lunch waiting for them.
Another mainstay in our home is low-fat cheese sticks—I always make sure that I have plenty of these on-hand for the boys to grab for a snack or add to lunch because they are a great source of calcium and protein!
Even though these cheese sticks are typically for lunches and snacks, I decided to make a special dinner. So, to celebrate a successful first day of school completed, we are going to have Back to School Turkey & String Cheese Panini Poppers.
Turkey and Cheese Panini Poppers
- 3 cheese sticks, cut into thirds
- 1 package, refrigerated crescent rolls
- 4 slices deli-style turkey
- pre-cooked French fries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Open the package of refrigerated crescent rolls, unroll dough. Cut the deli meat into halves and the cheese sticks into thirds.
Simply layer the ingredients on top of the crescent roll dough: turkey, cheese and French fries. Fold in edges and roll up. Press sides of dough together. Place on lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
The boys absolutely loved them—and even asked for more! And because they were so quick and easy, we were able to make it to soccer and football practices in good time.
If you need a little inspiration for some tasty and quick back-to-school meal ideas, you can visit Giant Eagle meals and learn more about just how simple it can be… now, you don’t have to order take out for a quick and easy dinner… #backtoschoolsimple