Tired of packing the same old peanut butter sandwich for your kids’ lunches every day? We know it’s easy to get in a rut, and we’re here to help you change it up. This blog has tips and recipes to keep lunches sharp!
If your kids’ school doesn’t provide lunch—or doesn’t provide healthy lunch options—it’s key to make sure they bring something great from home. This is the best way to help kids eat a meal that provides nutrients and gives tons of energy throughout the day to play, learn, focus, and study.
Here are 5 tips to consider when packing a nutritious lunch:
- Eat the rainbow! Use seasonal produce and try to include at least two diﬀerent colors in each lunch. Bonus points for the whole rainbow!
- Mix it up! Try to include fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy for a balanced, nutritious, and USDA- (and Oldways-) approved meal. A lunch of a turkey sandwich, an apple, carrot sticks, and milk hits all the right spots.
- Think inside the box! Bento boxes are fun, hold all kinds of foods, and help with portion control. You can also save time by preparing lunches for the week ahead of time and storing them in containers.
- Encourage your kids’ participation! Give them a variety of healthy options and let them choose what they feel like that day. Plus, getting them involved early will help them appreciate healthy eating and homemade cooking (nothing beats homemade meals).
- Skip the soft drinks! Swap out sodas and sugary juices for healthier options such as water, unsweetened iced tea, or agua fresca (a combination of fruits/cereals/seeds/ﬂowers combined with water and a small amount of sugar—and one of my personal favorites).
Need more inspiration? Check out this recipe for our radish and hummus sandwich. Your kids will never settle for plain ol’ peanut butter ever again!
And if you’re looking for more tips to change your little ones’ eating habits, check out our recent blog on getting kids to try new foods! Spoiler: Healthy brownies are a thing.
Paola Garza, Nutritionist