If ensuring your child has a healthy, nutritious lunch in his or her school backpack seems like an overwhelming and time-consuming task, I have got good news: It doesn’t have to be.
Back to school time is the perfect opportunity to start packing a healthier lunchbox with healthy recipes and kid snack ideas. Here are a few suggestions and ideas to help you start the foundation of making a healthy lunch for your kids.
Wrap It Up
Sandwiches are great, but sometimes it’s fun to switch things up a bit! I love using tortillas (whole wheat) to make wraps or whole wheat pitas. You can fill these with chicken salad, lunch meat, tuna fish, leftover grilled chicken, pulled pork, hummus, or anything else! Leave it as a wrap, or slice it into little pinwheels. Don’t forget about all of the wonderful nut butters out there, that also make great sandwiches (if your child doesn’t have a allergy)
Encourage kids to eat their veggies by providing a fun dipping option. Creamy feta dressing, ranch dressing, hummus, or another bean dip. Provide veggies in slices or strips for easy dipping! My kids love homemade salsa and guacamole which are great for dips too.
Use silicone muffin tin liners to section off the lunch box further and provide perfect portions! Chips are popular in lunches, but popcorn is a healthier option when you air pop it at home. Scoop some into a muffin liner for just the right amount! These liners are also perfect for cheddar snack crackers, pita chips or whole grain crackers.
Switch It Up
Anything when eaten every day has the potential of becoming boring, so change it up using seasonal fruits and veggies and whatever foods you have on hand! I think variety and trying new foods frequently is important in raising kids who aren’t picky. It’s fun to be adventurous!
Eat Your Colors
When it comes to food, the more NATURALLY colorful, the better! Red watermelon, blue blueberries, green cucumbers, orange carrots… all of these provide important vitamins and nutrients, plus, they are so pretty to look at!
Include more whole foods and less processed foods. Choose lunch items with higher amounts of fiber and nutrients children need (like calcium, protein, and vitamin C). Include fewer processed foods such as cookies, chips, and snack cakes, which have higher sodium, added sugar, and saturated fat.
I am making a commitment to bring new simple ideas for lunches, EASY breakfasts, and SIMPLE dinners. Protein, Vegetables, Fruit, Healthy fats, Whole – REAL carbohydrates… presented in a way to get the kids on board! This is a perfect season to set and accomplish new personal and family goals!
Here’s to a great school year!!