Here are some ideas and recipes to get your child’s school lunch menu started off right! The perk of introducing new food to your child at lunch, is that you don’t have to negotiate with them if they are hesitant to try it. They will be in their own element, and hunger is the best sauce!
While juice boxes are easy, juice itself is high in calories and more sugar than vitamins. Pack your child with an ice cold cool thermos of water to wash down their lunch, instead. Or, if you feel like flavor is necessary look to coconut waters or other “water” products that will be better for hydration and have less sugar than a juice box.
Change out roast beef, bologna, or ham for lean meats like chicken or turkey, and lay off the mayo. By either going light on mayo, or cutting it out entirely, combined with using a leaner deli meat you can reduce both the fat and caloric intake significantly in a simple sandwich. Oh, and using whole grain bread is only going to bring more vitamins to the table!
Stay away from granola bars and other processed food snack items, like gummies for example. They are full of ingredients that are hard for the body to process, and in turn tough to provide any nutritional value to your child. Here are some options to consider as sides to a sandwich or main dish.
Yogurt Parfait: Kids love toppings. Pack a vanilla organic yogurt in their lunch and include a little sampling of their favorite cereal, fruit (dried or diced fresh), and honey for them to build their own little parfait.
Ants on a Log: Celery topped with your child’s favorite nut butter, or cream cheese, topped with dried fruit (raisins, cherries, cranberries, etc.) is a classic kid snack that is easy to pack.
Hummus: Hummus is healthy and delicious. Pair it with carrot sticks, celery, or pretzels and you are good to go!