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An expert's tips for packing your child's school lunch

WBFO News File Photo

University at Buffalo Executive Chef Neal Plazio has some advice for parents packing school lunches: keep it easy but interesting. 

WBFO's Jay Moran spoke with Plazio about creative and healthy lunches for your children...

"Make it interesting, make it safe and make it easy," says Plazio. "I think a lot of times parents get to wrapped up in being extravagant and it's just not practical for a child depending on the age. Yet,I think, other times it's so simple, it's boring."

Plazio used to have is own in home personal chef business.

"I saw some people making lunches for their kids where they had all these little containers and they had instructions," says Plazio. "You need to mix this and keep this separate. It was interesting but then I think it went beyond interesting to the point of being hard to pull off for the kid."

"I tend to snack a little bit more during the day. I think that lends itself to our busy schedules," notes Plazio. "If I haven't had a huge breakfast, by mid-morning I might need a little something. The idea of having some smaller little grab bags would be the ideal lunch...  Cut up vegetables, a little container of humus and some cut up fruit so I am able to snack throughout the time period."

Plazio says one key is planning.

"I think the big thing is having the forethought to kind of plan out. Maybe taking a little time over the weekend, planning out the week. It doesn't have to be really labor intensive. Just put a little thought to it and set up what you're going to offer during the week."

For a look at some of Plazio's lunch recipes, click here.