Back to school season is finally here, which also means packing countless lunches for your kids throughout the year. Although this year is a little different due to the pandemic, whether your child is at home or school, it is essential to provide them with healthy and delicious meals and snacks. With a nutritious lunchbox it helps to keep your child energized, ready to learn in the classroom, and so importantly, helps with their growth and development.
Lunch box essentials include: fruit, vegetable, (aim for half of the meal colorful and crunchy) protein-rich food such as meat or plant-based protein, and whole-grain or starchy vegetables. This allows the child to get a balance source of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats into their diet.
Another tip is to try to get the kids involved in making their lunch. The more involved kids, such as packing or picking process, the more likely they are actually to eat what is packed
You may want to give them a couple of choices.
(I have learned from experience that if given the entirety of the kitchen to choose from, you may become the short-order cook or they may choose less desirable items)
Here are some healthy and easy lunch ideas:
On busier days, you can also re-purpose dinner leftovers for the next school day and try to pre-prep veggies/fruits and meals in advance on the days that you are the least busy.
When it comes to selecting snacks, many processed ones contain a significant amount of added sugars, sodium, and fats. It is essential to compare nutrition labels in order to choose the healthier option. Here are some healthy snack ideas:
Try a few out. Sometimes, going outside the comfort zone, you’d be surprised what kids will eat!
©2019 Catherine Semenick RD
539 Memorial Ave.
Thunder Bay, ON, Canada