For most families school is back in session, and many are having a hard time packing healthy school lunches for picky children. Babyminding is ready to help with some quick and easy healthy school lunch ideas. Tela wrote this post a couple of years ago and it continues to be a popular post here at Babyminding. Today, we will reference that post and add some more healthy, easy menu items for your child’s lunch. Nutritionists agree that breakfast and lunch for your school-aged child should include plenty of fiber and protein. Here are some clever ways to get those in the lunch box and, most importantly, offer your child optimal nutrition for learning:
Healthy School Lunch Ideas
- Turkey and cheese roll ups are a great way to get protein and calcium in your child’s lunch box. Use deli turkey or a natural, no added nitrate/nitrites version from your grocers packaged meat section. Roll with a white cheese like muenster or provolone as yellow cheeses tend to have artificial colors. Hold together with colorful toothpicks until time to eat. You could go with the traditional turkey and cheese on wheat bread, but these roll ups are a little more fun. Serve with raw veggies and dip. Kids love color, so strips of different colored peppers go over well. Their favorite dip encourages them to eat their veggies! A healthy school lunch should be colorful and enticing.
- As Tela suggested in her post about healthy lunches for kids, hard boiled eggs (or deviled eggs) are a quick and easy way to pack protein into lunch. Serve with whole wheat crackers, cheese cubes, and fresh fruit.
- Cut up left over grilled chicken and mix with whole grain pasta or rice, a little butter, parmesan, and seat salt. Warm it and add to a thermos. Serve with carrot sticks and a small container of your child’s favorite dip.
- To avoid chips as a side item, mix whole grain low sugar cereal with almonds, dark chocolate chips, and dried banana chips. This trail mix packs the right punch with anti-oxidants, fiber, and protein. It will keep your child full all afternoon! If your child really wants chips, try whole wheat pita chips. They contain fiber and are much lower in fat and calories.
- Most children like eating fresh fruit, but if your child is resisting, try a small amount of fruit dip or all natural whipping cream to encourage them.
- For a new take on a PB&J sandwich, take a whole wheat wrap and smear with peanut butter. Top with cut up banana and strawberries. Roll it up for a fun and easy way to get fiber and protein!
- To avoid your children begging for your spare change to get in line for the treats they serve in the school cafeteria, occasionally pack healthier versions of your child’s favorite treats. Annie’s makes an organic version of fruit snacks and organic graham snacks that I like to use. For homemade treats, here is the recipe I use for whole wheat dark chocolate chip cookies. For a healthier muffin that seems like a treat to your kids, substitute apple sauce for the vegetable oil and add a little flax seed. I like to make whole wheat banana muffins and add some dark chocolate chips. Most recipes that include white flour and oil are easily substituted and taste great after switching to whole wheat flour and apple sauce. Here is an easy muffin recipe that I like to modify.
For more healthy school lunch ideas for kids, Babyminding recommends checking out Laptop Lunches. What are you packing for your child’s school lunch this year? Babyminding wants to know!
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