I remember my childhood lunchbox as a 4th grader. It was ET themed and I was extremely proud to carry it to school that year. It was the only year I had a “lunchbox,” since the rest of my life the lunchbox was “uncool.” I took a brown bag from then on, or I bought from the school store: Nacho Cheese Doritos, a Reese’s peanut butter cup and a Pepsi. Fond memories, but those calories have definitely caught up with me!
Below I hope you’ll find some helpful tips for the here and now. A few ideas for how to pack healthy lunches, either for yourself or your kids!
1. Avoid Heavy Breads. Carbs are a thing of the past even for kids, and especially mid day. Consider packing just the protein without the bread…or consider one of these alternatives:
Pita…tortilla wraps…rice cakes
2. Veggies and Fruit For Fun. Balance the lunch with a health food, like a veggie or fruit. The trick is to make this packed option tasty and FUN! Consider these options that don’t spoil easily:
Apple…Carrot…Celery. And don’t forget the dip, because…FUN!
Consider: Cream cheese…peanut butter…hummus
3. The Side. Without a ton of carbs, your child needs a bit more than just the protein and fruit/veggie to tide them over until after school snack. Consider low carb and easy to handle sides, like these:
Cooked rice, plain or pilaf with roasted nuts…Veggie chips…Dried fruit…Whole grain pasta with flavored oil
4. And, What To Drink? Water, of course! And, remember to use a reusable BPA free water bottle. Let’s do our part to keep the earth healthy too!
If you’re packing for your kids, be sure to include them on the choices, as well as the packing! Data says that when kids make and pack their own food they are more apt to eat it all! Here’s to a healthy and happy school year…cheers!