Healthy Lunches for Kids
Tips for packing healthy lunches your child will actually enjoy eating!
You’ve picked up school supplies, updated the kids’ wardrobe and are starting to see that bright yellow bus EVERYWHERE. We are well into back to school time! Many parents agree that one of the most challenging things about getting your kids ready to go back to school is figuring out what to pack for lunch every day. What can you pack for lunch that is not only healthy, but kid-friendly as well (and doesn’t end up swapped or in the trash)! Where to begin?
- Enlist the help of an assistant and get the kids involved in their food choices by helping you prepare the night before.
- Try to pack bite sized foods that kids can easily eat with their hands like veggie crudités, chopped fruit and trail mixes; this makes snacking throughout the day easier as well. Include dips to add different and fun flavors!
- Pick two days a week to pack lunches, such as Sunday and Wednesday and set aside an hour or so to prepare for the days ahead.
- Maximize leftovers by preparing extra servings when cooking dinner and save them, packing the leftovers as you clean up.
- Purchase food in bulk to reduce your costs, but make sure that if you buy something in a package you read the ingredient list carefully to make sure there are only whole foods listed.
- Make sure you have a set of reusable and BPA free containers and water bottles that your kids can open easily and can survive being squished in a backpack or locker; remind kids that if they don’t finish their lunch to bring the rest home in the reusable container!
What are some healthy and yummy ideas for school lunch? Try one of my “Get Fit with Britt” lunches:
Wrap it Up: In a gluten free tortilla wrap, slice avocado, tomato, carrot, and add romaine lettuce with a touch of Annie’s “Goddess” dressing. Wrap it tight and cut up into 4 sections. Serve it with a side Sliced Apple and tablespoon of Almond Butter to dip in.
No Chicken Salad: In a food processor, pulse (just to get it chopped) Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, etc), Carrot, Green Apple, Onion, Lemon Juice, Dill. Sprinkle with Hemp Seed and wrap in a Collard Green Leaf. Include a handful of Brad’s Raw Chips (all the flavors are great!) and chopped pineapple or Grapefruit slices.
Cold Pasta Salad: This pasta salad is a fan favorite in my house—I use Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta (cooked according to package) and add raw heirloom tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, tri-colored peppers, black olives, jalapeño peppers, and add a can of Garbanzo beans (but really you can add any raw veggies you like). Mix together with Organic Italian Dressing (or sometimes I use Avocado Oil and Lemon Juice combined with Italian Herbs). Make sure to keep refrigerated overnight. Serve with a side of mixed berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries) and raw, unsalted almonds.
South of the Border: Combine Pico de Gallo, Guacamole (Whole Foods in Darien, Westport or Fairfield have excellent prepared, organic versions of both) and serve with Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean Tortilla Chips and Bean Salad: Green Beans, Garbanzo Beans, Kidney Beans, Chopped Red and Green Pepper, Parsley, Green Onion, Jalapeño Pepper combined with Lemon Juice, Avocado Oil, Splash of Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar and seasoning to taste.
Superfood Trail Mix Super Food Trail Mix: Mix raw, unsalted Almonds, Pepitas (Pumpkin Seeds), Cashews, Pistachios, Dried Cranberries, Goji Berries, Raw Cacao Nibs
Veggies and Fruit with Hummus: Sometimes the best lunches are the easiest ones…Chop up a bunch of your little one’s favorite fruits (Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Pineapple etc) and Veggies (Celery, Carrots, Red Pepper, Cucumber, Green Beans, Sugar Snap Peas etc) and serve with homemade Hummus: chickpeas, cloves garlic, lemon juice, water, tahini, chopped coriander, olive oil, salt and paprika all combined in a food processor until creamy; add other ingredients to create different flavors like Spicy Roasted Red Pepper or Pine Nut.