*This post is sponsored by Hormel. As a Hormel Extended Family Blogger, I receive products and information to facilitate my posts. All opinions are my own.

The “Back to School” season is upon us, and many moms (myself included) find themselves trying to come up with ways to keep lunch fresh, healthy, and something our kids want to eat. As a former teacher, I’ve seen far too many lunches get tossed in the trash, and when kids don’t get a nutritious and filling lunch, they can have trouble focusing on learning.

Two non-negotiables for a child’s lunch should be a healthy protein and a fruit or a veggie. Try to mix things up and keep yourself from falling into the peanut butter and jelly rut. Hormel has a variety of products to help keep school lunches and afterschool snacks quick and delicious.

Our new favorite deli meat is Hormel® Natural Choice®. This is available in two new varieties – cherrywood smoked ham and sundried tomato delimeatturkey. We got to sample both new varieties. My daughter went CRAZY for the cherrywood smoked ham. Actual conversation we had…

Her: Mom, you HAVE to try this new ham. I think I’ve fallen in love with it.

Me: Well, I’m glad you like it honey. Do you want me to make you a sandwich with it?

Her: Yes, and then I want to marry it. Can you marry ham?

Sigh..the stuff kids come up with! While, I was not ready to plan meaty nuptials after sampling the ham, I will admit that it was very tasty, and makes an excellent sandwich. I’ve been using the turkey in egg white omelets and lettuce wraps. The many varieties will help keep your child’s lunchbox new and different. Add a cheese stick or yogurt, and a baggie of fresh veggie sticks, and your child will have a delicious and healthy lunch.

pepperonistixAnother fun idea is Hormel® Pepperoni Stix! Packed with protein, and available in regular and turkey pepperoni, these meat sticks are a fun alternative to the traditional sandwich. If your child is a reluctant sandwich eater, a meat stick might be something to try. Throw in some cubes of mozzarella cheese, sliced veggies, and a cup of marinara sauce, and let your child have fun dipping. (You can even tell yourself you’re being all nouveaux and making “deconstructed pizza.”)

You might remember that I introduced you to the new Hormel® REV® wraps last month. With 8 delicious varieties, there is sure to be a flavor that is just right for your little school-goer. Each wrap has at least 15 grams of protein to provide your child with sustaining energy.

Happy lunch-making, and here’s to a year of tasty, easy, and kid-approved lunches!