Back to School: Packing Lunches Your Kids Will Eat
As the lazy days of summer turn into the crazy days of the school year, there’s a lot to think about.
One of the top priorities for parents on the go is packing lunches.
They need to be quick and easy but healthy too, not to mention something they’ll actually eat!
Here’s some help!
Recruit the kids
It’s all about giving options. Your children are much more likely to eat what’s in their lunchbox if they’ve had a hand in it.
Give them healthy options to choose from and let them pick.
If you’re brave enough, you can even let them go to the grocery store with you and pick some things out for themselves.
It’s also a smart idea to have a designated lunch prep area in your kitchen that’s stocked with containers, baggies, plastic spoons and forks, etc. Each evening, you and the kids can work together to put their lunches together.
Make healthy foods fun
Little Johnny may not like his turkey sandwich when it’s just a plain old square, but what if you use a cookie cutter and cut it into the shape of a star or a football?
Fruit’s more fun when it’s on a kebab! Peanut butter and celery is way more exciting when it’s “Ants on a Log!”
Get creative with the presentation to appeal to picky eaters!
Make your own snacks
Busy parents don’t always have a lot of extra time to whip up amazing snacks.
Find a happy medium and limit the processed snacks that won’t give your children any nutritional value and may even make them crash near the end of their school day.
You can find quick and easy instructions online for your own yogurt covered raisins, fruit leather, and no bake energy bites.
Bring in all the food groups
Try to incorporate fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains into each day’s lunch.
Make it a game to try and find creative ways to fit something in from all the food groups! You always need to have balance, so don’t be afraid to throw in a couple cookies every once in awhile!
Keep them hydrated
Of course, water is the way to go.
If you have trouble getting your picky child to drink enough, get creative.
One idea is to take them to the store and let them pick out the very best, most awesome, princess or pirate covered water bottle they can find to drink from.
It can also be helpful to set goals for them to reach. For example, challenge them to try and fill up their cool water bottle at least twice throughout the school day.
If they complain about the taste, throw in some frozen fruit to make it a little more flavorful.
Start the year off right
Following these tips from the beginning of the school year will set a precedent and help you and the kids form a new routine.
They’ll look forward to working with you to make their own choices, finding foods for each food group, and trying to reach their water-drinking goals.
The results will be fun and healthy lunches that your kids will eat and some extra quality time together.