It’s that time of the school year when many parents grow weary of packing school lunches. If you’re feeling this struggle, here are some fresh ideas and guidelines to packing a healthy lunch your kids might actually eat.
Consider investing in a waste-free lunch box system. Re-usable containers like bento boxes are sustainable, produce less waste, and make packing healthy, fun lunches relatively easy. Some of my favorites are the bento boxes at Bentology, fun containers free of phthalates, BPA, PVC and lead; and Lunchbots, lightweight, stainless steel containers. Both websites are loaded with ideas for healthy, fun lunches. Follow them on Instagram for inspiration for your kiddos' and your own lunches. Kids love the little sectioned out containers and they just might be inspired to eat a broccoli tree or two out of them!
Pack your protein. Protein is an essential part of a healthy lunch (and breakfast). Protein slows the digestion and absorption of sugars in the blood, creating more sustainable energy for your child’s active day. Add a little variety to your sandwiches with an easy chicken, tuna, or egg salad. Even a boiled egg makes a fun lunch addition. Diced turkey or grilled chicken is a quick way to get that protein in, too. You can transform any sandwich into a fun wrap with a tortilla or piece of butter lettuce for a lettuce wrap.
Vary those veggies. On our endless quest to make sure our kiddos eat their veggies, we might find ourselves in a rut. Even if your child doesn’t usually ask for veggies, he might try them in a fun container with a dip like guacamole or hummus. Some kid favorites are cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, jicama slices, kale chips, roasted sweet potatoes, baby carrots, celery, and sugar snap peas.
Prep ahead of time. Chop veggies as soon as you get home from the grocery store, make a simple chicken or salmon salad and boil several eggs for ready-to-grab healthy protein. Cook rice or quinoa in bulk and re-use in combination with sautéed veggies and chicken.
With just a few weeks left of school, let’s transition into summer by fueling our kiddos well at lunch!