Let’s be honest, mornings can be tough. Making lunch day in and day out is hard enough, not to mention getting your child to actually eat a balanced meal. Sometimes throwing together a PB&J sandwich with a piece of fruit and a few of her favorite snacks is all you can manage. We understand.
But putting together healthy meals for school doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be down right fun for both you and your child. We’ve put together some great tips and tricks that will make packing healthy school lunches a breeze.
For each household, the basics might look a little different. Whatever these items are, they should be things that you are positive your child will eat. Whether it’s his favorite fruit or veggies, or peanut butter and jelly, these food items should always be around so you can grab them at a moment’s notice.
Sometimes it’s not a matter of having healthy food around, but getting your child to eat it. Because little kids can easily get bored with what they are eating, it can be just as important to make their lunches look fun as it can be to make them healthy.
The good news is that there are a lot of easy, healthy recipes out there that your kids will absolutely love. Here are a few of our favorite fun and healthy recipes to get you started:
Sometimes all it takes to keep your kid interested in her lunch is mixing things up, literally. While the main ingredients can stay the same, how you combine them will make all the difference. Instead of packing peanut butter and celery, try packing peanut butter and apples.
Another way to mix things up is to individually pack the ingredients for your child’s favorite sandwich. So say your kid loves a turkey, cheese, lettuce and mustard sandwich. Instead of packing an already made sandwich, you would pack the ingredients he needs to put it together himself or just eat it in pieces. No matter what you choose, it’s a nice way to use all the same ingredients but pack them differently.
Along the same lines, finding versatile recipes that you can use again and again is key. When kids like something, they’re often happy to have it for lunch again and again. However, to make sure they are getting a variety of nutrients, it’s still good to try something different. Here are some easy and healthy recipes you can mix and match to your heart’s content
Before the week’s craziness gets underway, try to prep your healthy snacks ahead of time. To make the task go faster, ask your little one to help. While you might not find it fun to prepare and pack lunch, your child very well might, especially if you make the task into a game.
Also, giving your child some control over packing his own lunch is one of the best ways to help teach him about nutritious foods and what goes into a balanced lunch.
This way you don’t have to think too hard about what you pack. All you have to remember is to put a piece of fruit in one section, a vegetable in another, and a protein in a third. Also, these types of lunch boxes are easy to adjust the portion sizes to fit the specific eater. No matter if you are packing for a little kid with a small appetite or one who’s going through a growth spurt, your child will be able to get exactly what they need.
If possible try to steer clear of snacks, soda, and candy. Once in a while, packaged foods can be ok. But in general, they should be viewed as a special treat rather than a regular staple.
However, if you do succumb to packaged school snacks, whole grain snacks are better than those made out of refined grains. Whether it be a homemade cereal trail mix or a granola bar, always choose the whole grain alternative.
Although your child may not believe it, you can create a lot of healthy meals that taste yummy! Here are some of our top healthy snack ideas that we are sure your kid will love.
Do you think we’ve missed something? We’d love to know! Reach out to us on Facebook and let us know your favorite school lunch ideas and healthy recipes.