Packing a healthy lunch for your child that will actually be eaten and enjoyed can be a daunting task for parents. It is however the best way to ensure your child is being properly nourished during the day. So to help with the task here are a few of my favorite tips for packing healthy school lunches.
- Balance: Pack a well-balanced lunch by including a fresh fruit, veggie, whole grain and protein. This will ensure a nourishing and filling lunch. A few fresh ideas
Fruit: Apples, oranges, berries, melon cubes, grapes
Veggies: Cucumbers, carrots, grape tomatoes, sugar snap peas, pepper slices
Whole Grains: Pretzels, crackers, flatbread, pita bread, whole wheat pasta
Protein: Nut & Seed butters, boiled eggs, cheese, yogurt, nuts, edamame
- Drinks: Always send a water bottle. Kids can keep them at their desk throughout the day and take it to lunch. If you send juice make it 100% juice or send white milk.
- Portion size: All kids are different, some eat more at breakfast or dinner and some are more hungry at lunch. Talk to you child about lunch. Is he/she getting enough to eat or are you sending too much. Adjust accordingly to keep your child from being hungry and to keep from wasting food.
- Take advantage of leftovers: Freeze leftovers from casseroles, soups and pasta dishes in mason jars for easy access to single serving sizes. Freeze leftover muffins and send for lunch. Pack leftover pasta salads or chicken salad.
- Plan & Prep: Wash and chop veggies, boil eggs, make dips. Pull food out of freezer to thaw. Make sure containers are washed and ready.
- Add some love: Kids don’t need treats with every meal, instead add a quick note to wish them a happy day, add a sticker or even a tattoo. Just send a smile
Stephanie Lang is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Mom of Two. She is passionate about helping families to create healthier lifestyles by embracing healthy eating and exercise. She launched her website and blog, AWHOLENEWLIFE.NET in 2014 to share healthy tips and recipes with other parents. Her services include individual, family and corporate wellness programs.