Brown bag lunches are the healthiest option for your kids lunch, and Keep these 7 tips in mind to help you pack a school lunch with a healthy and creative punch.
#1. Colour is key. Colour means nutrition (antioxidants, vitamins, phytonutrients) which help keep your child’s energy and immune system healthy, so keep your kid’s lunchbox colourful with all colours of the rainbow. Orange carrot slices, red tomatoes or pepper slices, green avocado on their sandwiches, blueberries on their yogurt or a skewer of pink strawberries. Natural colour only! Artificial colour can cause allergic reactions or behavioral … in some children.
#2. Let them help prep. Kids are more likely to eat their food if they were involved in the process. Let them help prepare the sandwiches or have them choose from multiple bowls of veggies, fruit, and wholesome treat options which ones they want to pack each day.
3. Always remember your veggies. Kids love eating hand held foods, and veggies are no exception (especially if there is a dip involved). Add some pureed sweet potato to a store-bought dip or stir in chopped herbs or even pureed fruit into a dip to sneak in extra plant nutrients. Or try ants on a log with nut free sunflower seed butter with raisons, currants or cranberries are always a hit with kids.
4. Sass up your sandwiches. Try different breads, flatbreads, pitas, wraps, bagels or english muffins to keep it fresh, and mix and match the fillings with different cheese, egg slices, leftover meat, veggies, veggie puree, chutneys, dried fruit and veggie fillings. Or try keeping the sandwich fillings separate and let them do the building at school?
5. Keep cool. Skip the sugar laden fruit juice and pack a partially frozen water bottle inside their lunch box to keep their items cool until lunch. If they don’t love water add some berries or a touch of honey to their water to sweeten it. Use partially frozen bread for the sandwiches to keep their lunches cool and their sandwiches fresh and vegetables crunchy.
6. Leftovers are your friend. It’s a long year of making lunches and dinners every day so make it easier on yourself by cooking large portions for dinners to have leftovers available. Homemade chicken or fish fingers make a great lunch with a honey mustard dipping sauce, or cut up meatballs to put in a salad. Try a thermos of warm soup or chili or sliced cold leftover chicken or beef with cheese slices.
7. Packaging is everything. Kids love opening packages and small containers, and their lunch boxes are no exception. Purchase some single serving containers for chopped tropical fruit, plain organic full fat yogurt sweetened with honey or blueberries, homemade dips, trail mix of pumpkin seeds, dried fruit and coconut, leftover meat, cheese slices or a healthy mini cookie or two.
When packing your kids lunches this year check for colour, fiber, protein, and creativity, your kids will be sure to stay focused and alert.