Healthy school lunch ideas

| August 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

Young boy holding packed lunch in living room smilingHealthy Lunchbox……… It’s something we all worry about as moms…  what our children eat for lunch.  We cannot be there with them encouraging good choices like we do when we gather around the dinner table.  I cannot say there are not exceptions but I generally pass on the lunch options the school provides.  Luckily, as much as my kids love pizza, they are not fans of the pizza our lunchroom provides on Thursdays so they pass.  I take this opportunity to fill their lunchbox with goodies… the mom kind.

My first objective is veggies.  I try to be creative with putting a couple servings in there so that is less I have to “push” at dinner time.  Raw vegetables end up being my first picks for their lunch.  Carrots, celery, cucumbers, green peppers, snap peas and mini little salads are sure to be eaten by my little ones.  If some encouragement is needed I will throw in some dip or salad dressing.  My youngest had her preschool teachers laughing out loud as she pulled each piece of lettuce one at a time and licked all the Italian dressing off.  That wasn’t what made her teachers laugh though, following that she made a nice pile of lettuce which she promptly went through and ate every piece she had already licked the dressing off.  Her teachers were sure she wasn’t going to eat anything but the good stuff.  She did this everyday she had a salad, she loves salads!

My second objective is fruit.  Not too difficult with so many lunchbox friendly choices.  Bananas, apples, grapes, oranges and even cut up fresh fruit salad are my kid’s favorites.

Then there is the main course… my kids love sandwiches with whole wheat bread (even though my oldest still prefers the crust cut off) with turkey or chicken.  That is my typical main course but if my kids ask for a change I love trying new wraps and filling them up with a couple of bonus veggies along with meat.  I also make homemade quesadillas for dinner a couple of times a month and my kids love them in their lunches for a change.  For my preschooler I tend to send in leftovers more than anything else.  At the end of last year she started requesting sandwiches simply to be like her older siblings but I find the leftovers are a healthier option and she seems to eat more.

Water is the best option to help keep our little ones hydrated.   I notice a change in my own children when they do not drink enough water.  Add water, will grow.

Round out their lunchbox with a cheese stick or a yogurt and you will be sending your children in with the most valuable academic tool… fuel to get the job done.  Healthy lunches are important to help our children succeed in school.  Just remember, once that final bell rings they will be looking for that healthy after school snack!

We are so happy to welcome a new member to our writing family – Christy! She will be covering lots of great topics for us!

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