Quick tips and simple recipes for healthy school lunches

Quick tips and simple recipes for healthy school lunches

School is back in session! Want to give your kids a healthier lunch option than whatever the school cafeteria's serving up? Here are a few tips to help you pack lunches for your school-aged kids that are both healthy and simple.

Pack the right amount of food. Rather than worrying that your child will go hungry and packing too much food that will only get tossed in the trash, think about what your child eats in a single meal at home and consider his or her likes and dislikes. If your child’s class has snack time, pack a healthy and filling snack, such as apple slices and almond butter for dipping. Then pack just the right amount of food for lunch.

Don’t be fooled by marketing. Check the packaging on any foods you purchase for your child to ensure they aren’t packed with sugar, salt or other unhealthy ingredients. Just because a food is marketed as being good for kids doesn’t mean it’s actually a healthy food. Choose whole foods over processed foods, and cut them into kid-sized pieces.

Load up the protein. Protein helps keep little bellies full and brains and bodies energized for the school day. Be sure your child’s lunch is balanced with limited carbs and more than one source of protein and fiber. Carbohydrates are digested quickly, which is why you may feel hungry shortly after eating a carb-heavy snack or meal. Squeezable yogurt tubes and mixed nuts are great options for filling foods.

Don’t skip the veggies. Fruit and fruit pouches are a simple addition to any lunch box, but don’t skip the veggies. Remember, fruit is generally high in sugar, while vegetables contain other valuable nutrients your little scholar needs to grow strong and healthy. Be sure to include at least one vegetable in your child’s lunch each day.

Plan ahead. When planning your dinner menu for the week, go ahead and plan out your child’s lunches as well. Not every lunch needs to include a sandwich. Leftovers from last night’s dinner can also be a simple and healthy option for lunch. This can also help take some of the stress out of your mornings.

Make lunch fun. If you want to ensure your child eats his or her lunch, have a little fun with it. Provide a lunch that is colorful with plenty of variety. If you have a little extra time, search Pinterest for some ideas on how to pack fun, kid-friendly (and healthy) lunches and snacks for your kids.

Need a few healthy and creative lunch ideas? Here are a few recipes your kids will love.

Posted: 8/19/2016 by Goshen Health
Filed under: healthy eating, healthy kids, wellness awareness

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