Loews Hotels help kids eat healthy, build a better lunchbox

Loews Hotels is helping kids eat a little healthier (and give parents some piece of mind.) To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its Good Neighbor Policy, the hotel group launched the “Build a Better Lunchbox” program to promote healthy eating habits and raise funds to support projects in local schools.

Loews Hotels across the U.S. are hosting fundraising events where children and parents will have the opportunity to learn how to build a healthier lunch together, and at the same time support community schools through DonorsChoose.org, Loews’ newest charity partner, a web-based not-for-profit that supports local school projects for individual sponsorship. As the first national hotel partner for DonorsChoose.org, Loews hopes to raise more than $200,000 in total for DonorsChoose.org in 2010.

At the events, each child will receive a specially created Loews Loves Kids lunch bag, an organic cotton lunch bag filled with a coupon for a nutritious berry smoothie at a Loews Hotels, healthy lunch and snack recipe cards, fruit-shaped silly bands, crayons and a $20 donation card for DonorsChoose.org.

Loews Hotels is also partnering with Driscoll’s, a family owned company that has been growing berries for more than 100 years, to educate and introduce kids to the wonderful world of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries grown by independent farmers.

What’s in the better lunchbox? We asked Loews for a few of their healthy recipes for kids and received some delicious options! Keep reading for more…
Whole Wheat Turkey-Hummus Wrap Ingredients:

1 Large whole wheat tortilla

¼ Cup Hummus (see Hummus recipe)

¼ Cup crumbled Feta cheese

½ heart of Romaine lettuce

1 4 ounce package of sliced turkey

Method:

1. Cut half inch strips of lettuce using all lettuce.
2. Warm tortilla slightly to make easy to roll.
3. Spread hummus over half of the tortilla.
4. Sprinkle feta on top of hummus.
5. Distribute cut lettuce evenly over hummus and feta.
6. Place sliced turkey over lettuce.
7. Roll the tortilla from the edge closest to you half way through, then fold up both ends and roll the rest of the way.

Hummus

Ingredients:

1 16 oz can of chickpeas or garbanzo beans

1/4 cup liquid from can of chickpeas

3-5 tbsp lemon juice

1 1/2 tbsp tahini

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Chopped parsley

Method:

Drain chickpeas saving the liquid from the can aside. Combine remaining ingredients in blender or food processor. Add 1/4 cup of liquid from chickpeas. Blend for 3-5 minutes on low until smooth. Place in a serving bowl; create a shallow well in the center of the hummus. Add a small amount (1-2 tablespoons) of olive oil in the well. Keep refrigerated.

Very Berry Smoothie

Makes 2 cups

Ingredients

1 ¼ cup Driscoll’s strawberries and blueberries

¾ cup full-fat organic vanilla yogurt

½ cup freshly-squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon wheat germ

1 tablespoon agave nectar

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Procedure
1. Place all ingredients into a blender.
2. Whirl until smooth.
Garnish with a strawberry and serve with a curly straw

Eat-’Em-Up Fruit Kabobs

Makes 8 Kabobs

Ingredients

1 soft, unsalted pretzel cut into eight (8) cubes

8 cubes smoked Gouda (or a child’s specified favorite!)

8 Driscoll’s strawberries

8 cubes ham (optional)

8 Driscoll’s blackberries

8, 12-inch bamboo skewers

Procedure

1. On each skewer, thread one cube of pretzel, cheese, strawberry, ham and blackberry.
2. Repeat with remaining skewers.
3. Can be served with various dips, if desired.