You and your kids don't have to dread the doldrums of daily packed lunches. There are quick ways you can build a well-rounded meal with easy-to-prep ingredients.
These building blocks of a healthy lunch are easy to breakdown. Krissy Hall, a Certified Health and Wellness Coach at HonorHealth recommends that when you're making your child's midday meal include something from each category. Also think about switching up what you choose to keep kids interested in their food.
- Protein: Think peanut butter, cheese, eggs, beans, edamame, deli meat, hummus, Greek yogurt or nuts.
- Grains: This could be half a bagel, small tortilla, popcorn, pretzel rods, granola, oatmeal cookie or crackers.
- Fruits: Strawberries, grapes, cherry tomatoes, dried fruit, fig cookies, cut up watermelon, mandarin oranges or a small banana all count in this category.
- Vegetables: Sugar snap peas, cucumbers, salad, baby carrots or "ants on a log" (celery, peanut butter or cheese and raisins on top) all count.
Think about planning to prep your child's lunches on Sundays: wash, cut up and bag fruits and vegetables before the week starts. Freeze water bottles to double as a drink and an ice pack.
If you suspect your child is getting bored with your prepared fare, ask them to bring home lunch bag, trash and all. That way, you can see for yourself what they really liked and what was headed for the garbage.
You can also use cookie cutters to make fun-shaped sandwiches, fruit and vegetables. Or, change up the same old sandwich routine by wrapping lunch meat and cheese around a pretzel rod or stuffing it into a pita.
Questions? Concerns? Ask your child's doctor for advice.