School for us starts tomorrow and has already begun for many others. I have many parents in my practice asking me about what to pack their kids for lunch. Here are some great tips on creating a healthy lunch box that should bring their bags home empty instead of barley eaten. Works great for adults on the go too!
Mix it up! Grab a bento style lunch box and make a nutrient dense snack-able lunch. Cut up fruit and veggies, add a bean dip, a handful of chickpeas, hard boiled egg, leftover chicken or pasta, and some pumpkin seeds or dried fruit. Assembling a bento box style lunch can be fun, nutritious and you can introduce new items in small quantities.
Roll it up! Whether you use a pita, laffa, roti, tortilla, or seaweed paper, kids love rolled up food. Add nitrite-free turkey slices, chopped avocado, beans, chicken, cucumbers, sprouts, hummus, tuna, egg or cheese. You can basically add anything to a wrap, slice em’ up and watch them disappear.
Heat it up! If you don’t have a thermos, I really recommend you pick up one. Leftovers can be quickly heated up in the morning, put into a thermos and a healthy lunch is made. Soups, stew, stir-frys, pastas can all be loaded with veggies, lentils and lean proteins.
Green it up! Forget disposable bags that get tossed after one use and pick up some Eco-friendly containers instead. You will be teaching your kids to protect the environment and those cool containers are sure to get them to eat their healthy lunch. Check out Eco-friendly stores such as Dalcini Stainless and Logan and Finley for a wide selection.
Kid it up! We often are rushing trying to get so many things done. There is a lot of research on the benefits of getting kids to help out in the kitchen. Getting them to make their own lunch will translate to them eating it. Just think, if they get good enough at it, they just might start packing yours. Now that’s something to look forward to.