Creating Healthy School Lunches For Kids
by Carrie Lauth
One of the issues moms face as they send their kids back to school is preparing lunches. Not only are they concerned with preparing food for the kids each day, but preparing healthy and nutritious lunches! This can be quite the challenge, especially with picky youngsters. We all want our kids to eat well so they can learn well, but how do we create a meal that's healthy that our kids will actually eat?
Here are a few tips and ideas for doing just that:
Think outside the lunch box. Don't just create a plain old boring square sandwich every day. Try a lettuce wrap, a tortilla roll-up, a pita, or a sandwich made with a cookie cutter or whole grain waffles (use some of the organic frozen ones) for the bread. Try various types of bread to create unique sandwiches that will be not only healthy but fun and exciting for your child to eat. Presentation is big with kids. They love to eat foods that look interesting.
Another outside the box idea is to use small plastic containers or Bento boxes to create a fun, visually appealing meal. Try veggies and bread sticks with yogurt dips or sauces. What about slices of meat and a few different cheeses with crackers? You can create your own meal that is much more healthy than the pre-packaged ones that you can buy in grocery stores. There are several websites that teach Bento - the Japanese art of take out - that have fun ideas for kid's lunches.Try browsing these for inspiration.
Be big on variety. Offer your child lots of options. This will help them to find something that they like. Include fruit, bread, a veggie, a protein source, and a drink. Try to alternate them as well instead of sending an apple daily, sending an apple one day, an orange the next, grapes the next and then swap it up. For their drinks, try a smoothie. These are easy to make and fun to experiment with.
Get the kids involved. Kids are creative and savvy moms know they are more likely to eat something they have chosen for themselves. They can even find fun ways to package the items to make them more appealing. Let them use cookie cutters to create playful sandwiches or cuts of cheese. Have fun together browsing cookbooks and websites creating new ideas for future lunches. Let them help you do some of the work in the kitchen preparing their lunch box for the next day.
Use your leftovers. Who says lunch has to be a cold sandwich and an apple? If your child loved last night's dinner and you have leftovers send them for your child's lunch. At least you know they will eat it. It saves you some work too.
These are just a few ways to make healthy lunches that your child will eat. You'll also feel certain that they are getting the nutrition they need to stay focused at school.
About the Author:
Find fun healthy lunch box and Thermos recipes with an emphasis on whole foods at www.NaturalMomsRecipes.com - pick up your free meal planning guide to save time in the kitchen too!