Last week, I gave you some ideas of good protein choices to add to your child’s lunch box. Including some high fiber foods is important because these foods also have many other important nutrients that growing children need. All parents know how frustrating it is when those fruit and veggies you packed come home uneaten, so making them appealing is so important. Here are some healthy school lunch ideas that your kids will love.
- Veggies can be a hard sell in the best circumstances. A hectic lunchtime with tons of distractions can mean that veggies don’t get eaten. Any veggies that you do pack should be ones that you know that your child enjoys and will eat. School lunchtime is not the place to introduce new or unfamiliar foods!
- Dip can go a long way toward helping veggies get eaten. Ranch, hummus, peanut butter or any favorites are good to include.
- If you child enjoys salad, try including a veggie salad with some chicken or beans on it for protein. Put dressing on the side so it doesn’t get soggy.
- Most kids enjoy fruit because it is naturally sweet. But just like with veggies, make sure that the fruit you include is something that you know your child enjoys.
- A whole piece of fruit is much more likely to go uneaten that fruit that has been cut. Slice up apples and sprinkle with lemon or orange juice to prevent browning. Make a fruit salad out of melon and berries. Peel oranges and put in baggies. And if you include a banana, put it in a container so it doesn’t get squished!
- Fruit cups can be a good alternative sometimes, just make sure you look for fruit packed in its own juice.
- If you child eats sandwiches, make sure that the bread is 100% whole grain or whole wheat. Some whole grain breads are mostly made from refined flour, so always look for the 100% on the front of the label.
- Corn, potatoes and sweet potatoes are natural whole grains. Just make sure those potatoes don’t come in the form of fries or chips! Corn tortillas are a good option instead of bread.
- Whole grain pita or crackers can take the place of bread.
- Why not include some brown rice, quinoa, barley, whole wheat couscous or other whole grain on the side?