Making sure our kids have a healthy meal to take to school is a concern for many parents. School cafeterias often offer poor and unhealthy choices. But, every mom or dad who makes lunches for kids is also worried their picky eaters will dump the lunch into the trash or, trade the healthy apple for a can of soda.
As a parent, you're aware of the fact that a healthy lunch keeps kids active, alert and focused and gives them the nutrition they need every day. But no matter how healthy your child’s lunch box is, it won’t provide any nutritional value if it doesn’t get eaten, so be creative!
Making delicious and healthy meals can be a challenge. Most parents struggle to convince kids that veggies or gluten-free snacks are yummy, which makes it harder to accomplish a healthy lunchbox meal plan. But, with a bit of creativity, you can help your kid make smarter choices.
Check out our tasty ideas for simple lunches, fun snacks and helpful tips for packing the perfect kids lunchbox!
Tip # 1
Always include a sandwich!
But don't always stick to sliced bread, you can also use wraps, ciabatta, rolls, pitta bread, etc. Try to use whole wheat bread, which will provide fiber and help your child feel full.
Some kids aren't used to eating whole wheat bread, if that's your case, begin by gradually introducing them to whole wheat bread. Start by using bread with a whole-grain blend or added whole grain.
Tip # 2
Include a piece of fresh fruit or dried fruit
Peel, slice or cut fruit if possible, kids like fresh fruit cut and ready to eat. Offer different seasonal fruits each day for a change in flavor, color and texture. And if you got a picky eater, sprinkle some sugar over the fruit!
Tip # 3
Sneak in some veggies!
If your kids don't eat vegetables, experiment with dips. Baby carrots are cute and easy to chew, add ranch dressing at the bottom of a container, and stand the carrots in the ranch. Don't worry; the carrots won't get soggy! You can also try with hummus and yogurt-based dressings.
Another safe option is to use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumber or carrots thinly and sneak them inside a sandwich.
Tip # 4
There's no getting around it: children love sweets! Just re-thinking what and how much you give them. Being allowed to have less healthy foods occasionally keeps them from becoming forbidden, and more appealing.
Tip # 5
Keep it small
Make sure food is manageable for your kids' little hands. Cut apples and carrots into slices. And cut sandwiches or wraps into four pieces to make them more appealing. You can also use cookie cutters to add a little more fun!
And last but not least, don't forget to vary the content of the lunchbox any chance you get!