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Smart Choices for School Fuel

Sep 06, 2023 02:06AM ● By Leigh Anne Van Doren
Parents across the region got “surprise” school lunch bills the first week of school according to local social media sites. Now that pandemic funding is ending, school food is no longer free and not every family got the message. That extra second breakfast your kid was getting with his friends in the morning? That quick snack your daughter was grabbing on the way to class? It all shows up now on your school food bill.

Fredericksburg Parent is always ready to offer help, and lunch is no exception. Here are five great ideas for packing the dreaded school lunch.

1. Order fancy peanut butter and jelly from local peanut entrepreneur Adrian Silversmith at Sprelly. Sprelly produces a line of fresh gourmet nut butter spreads and jellies that elevate your peanut butter and jelly experience! Sprelly signature pairings include Cinnamon French Toast Peanut Butter with Triple Berry Jam, and Sweet Thai Peanut Butter with pineapple coconut jelly. Check out their colorful store front on our cover.

2. Buy a Bento Box. Bento boxes have lots of little boxes to fill with bite-sized portions of sliced lean ham, cheese cubes, whole-grain crackers, carrot sticks, and a mini-fruit salad. (link) The master of deconstructed lunches and dinners of course, is our own Debra Caffrey, who writes our Practical Pantry column. Click here for her creative takes on lunch and dinner spreads.

 3. Mini Pancake Sandwiches. Cook up some pancakes and fill them with almond butter and banana slices.

4. Mini Pita Pockets with Hummus. Fill mini-wholewheat pita pockets with hummus, shredded carrots, cucumber slices and baby spinach for a delicious and crunchy treat.

5. Invest in an insulated thermos and fill it with soup and pair with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Fredericksburg City Schools Director of Family and Community Engagement and Special Initiatives Sandy Gillenwater says there is still a need for donated lunchboxes at FCPS. “We have lots of backpacks right now, but we are still short of lunchboxes for families who need to pack school lunches rather than purchase.” Fredericksburg Parent is donating the lunchboxes we used for our cover shoot at Sprelly in August to FCPS. If you have the ability to donate a lunchbox or money to purchase lunchboxes, contact Sandy Gillenwater at sgillenwater@ To check out our covershoot click here to see our “behind the scenes” video with adorable cover models from the Stafford county Shook family.
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