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Cooking doesn’t come easy to everyone, but it’s never too late to learn. When it comes to school lunches, for instance, a little education in the kitchen can go a long way in the lunchroom. And right now, just before the new school year, can be the perfect time to up your game and raise the bar on what goes in your kids’ lunchbags. Plus, you’ll show your kids that cooking can be fun, simple, and even friendly for everyone in the family.

For instance: Try replacing the trusty peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with some tacos, salads, and even some leftovers. And that’s just for starters. Here are some ways to make your kids’ lunchtime their special time—along with tips to make better school day breakfasts and dinners too!

Marinades are your friends

Though they may sound intimidating, marinades can make your life easier and can fill your meals with an abundance of flavor. It doesn’t matter if you’re firing up the grill or using the oven; they’re an easy way to add delicious flavors to your meat and vegetables—and can also help make meat deliciously tender. Teach your kids a lesson on versatility by trying out Goya’s Mojo Criollo Marinade to make a Grilled Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Chickpea Salad, some Grilled Chicken Fajitas, or a tasty BBQ Flank Steak with Grilled Onions and Corn.

Assemble your team

Though bringing the kids into the kitchen can be daunting (for all of you), there are ways to get them interested and even excited in cooking—even if you’re not the most accomplished chef. Give some no-cook salads a shot. Not only are they convenient, but since they involve chopping and mixing, some of the younger family members can easily lend you a hand. Making a Salad in a Jar can make your life easier by allowing you to store them in your fridge for up to a week. Also, after school, a Quick Mixed Bean Salad or a Tangy Four Bean Salad can be your perfect allies when you’re looking for a quick yet hearty side dish.

Balance doesn’t mean boring

Putting together healthier meals for the entire family can seem daunting. From making healthy choices to pleasing picky eaters, it may feel like one more thing to add to your plate. A good place to start is by checking out MyPlate. This USDA program encourages you to create healthier meals by combining fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. Recipes like these ArepasSkinny Pizzas, and even this Quick Pumpkin Flan, follow the MyPlate guidelines and don’t compromise on deliciousness.

Upgrade your breakfast game

Given how crazy the day can get, the entire family needs to eat a breakfast that will fuel the long day ahead between school and activities. For those crazy mornings, prep some make-ahead breakfast options, such as Chia Puddings or some Black Bean Breakfast Burritos that you can freeze for up to three months.

Don’t be afraid of leftovers

Coming up with clever lunch ideas that the kids approve can be a challenge. Using leftovers, especially those that include proteins, can be both delicious and packed with nutrients. A Grilled Chicken and Veggie Pasta Salad made the night before can be a great lunch to have either hot or cold the day after. Or make some Chicken and Beef Fajitas for dinner and either wrap your leftovers with your favorite type of Goya Tortillas or a tasty salad with a Sherry Vinaigrette.

Try healthy and delicious dishes that will make your life easier this school year. Goya is ready to help you find the flavors, recipes and convenience you’re looking for. Click here to learn more.

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