All parents want their kids to eat nutritious and healthy food at home as well as in schools. Packing healthy lunch needs some thinking because most kids think their lunch is not good and need something that is more like a snack item. It is important to include healthy and interesting items as kids will look forward eat good and tasty food during lunch time. Here are some suggestions that can help to pack kids lunch. Also, give your kids some options to select the lunch.
1. Whole-Grain Breads: When you select the whole-grain bread look for the ingredients and make sure whole grains are listed first. If your kid is fussy about eating the whole grain bread make it interesting. You can also send pita bread once a while if your kids like to eat pita bread. Creative combinations makes it tasty and interesting for lunch and kids look forward for lunch time.
- Prepare a sandwich – with fruits and spread. Take 2 slices of whole grain bread, apply spread of your kids choice, put banana slices and strawberry slices.
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter or sunflower butter topped with one sliced medium-size banana on whole wheat bread.
- Take whole wheat pita – fill with 2 tablespoons hummus, 2 tablespoons tabbouleh, 2 tablespoons cucumber and 1 tablespoon feta.
2. Fruit juice : Research suggests that drinking moderate amounts of 100 percent fruit juice doesn’t affect a child’s weight. Choose 100% fruit juices over the fruit-flavored kinds, which have fewer nutrients. Stick with one cup a day: 100-percent juice. If your kid wants more juice – make sure that they have not exceeded recommended sugar intake. If so, mix some filtered water to the juice to dilute sugar quantity.
Remember: Although a reasonable amount of fruit juice each day is fine for most children, remember that whole fruit is an even better option. Ask your child whether she prefers fruit juice or fruit or both.
3. Vegetables: If kid refuses to eat vegetables then make it a fun vegetable dip. For example – Cut organic carrots, then put peanut butter (if it is not allergic to your kid or else, chose some other spread like neutella hazelnut spread) and Goldfish crackers in separate bowls. The kids dip the carrots in the nut butter and then fish for the crackers.
4. Pasteurized Cheese: Cheese is source of calcium for growing bones and supplies good amount of protein. Give kids option and ask them what type of cheese they want.
Here is a tip: On whole-grain crackers spread cheese and pack it with lunch. Both are good source of calcium. If your kid prefer, place slice of cucumber or carrot on top of the cheese.
5. Fruit Cups or fruits: Whole fruit is good for kids. Wash and cut fruits – apple, mango, papaya, guava fruits and keep with lunch box. Kids can dip this in cheese or a vegetable dip and eat. Do not send fruits that can mess up their dress. Kids will start disliking the fruits that causes embarrassment by spoiling their dress. Whole fresh fruit is great, but prepackaged cups provide the same nutrients. Choose ones packed in juice to limit added sugars.
It is parents duty to introduce kids to healthy foods. Young minds will absorb and learn better and will implement healthy habits at proper age.