Preparing and packing lunch everyday can be an excruciating task, especially if there are picky eaters in your home! Make sure your kids get the energy they need to power through the school day by packing a healthy lunch. Studies have shown that the children who eat a well-balanced, nutritional lunch are more likely to stay focused during the school day.
Read our kid-friendly tips that will help keep lunches tasty and fun so that your kids will look forward to eating it every day!
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Make a grocery list and plan out your lunches for the week. This will help packing every night so much easier! (see #3 – have your kids help you make the grocery list. If you’re brave – have them go with you!). Speaking of packing at night, be prepared and pack ahead of time. Carve some time out of your busy nightly routines to pack all of your family’s lunches! There are lots of fun insulated lunch boxes, divided lunch containers (with only one lid to open), and ice boxes on the market that can assist with making this an easier process.
2. Make and Freeze
There are many meals that you can make ahead and keep in the freezer for those nights that there just isn’t enough time. Make a pot of soup and you can freeze the leftovers in individual portions. Most leftovers can be thrown into the freezer for easy lunches in the weeks ahead. Leftover whole-wheat waffles and pancakes from the weekend (breakfast for lunch is FUN!). Smoothies, yogurt, sandwiches, and whole-wheat pizza can all be made ahead and readily available in the freezer.
3. Get Creative
Presentation is everything with kids – especially picky eaters! Are you ready to wow your kids in 30 seconds? Make your child’s favorite sandwich, choose a ‘cookie cutter’, press down in the middle of the sandwich with the cookie cutter and voila! You have a fun-shaped sandwich ready to eat! Shapes can also be created using fruit and cheese—slice them into circles, triangles or squares; for larger fruit like cantaloupe, use a melon baller to create small fruit spheres. Kids also love surprise notes in their lunchboxes!
4. Make it a Family Affair
Most kids love to be in the kitchen, so why not get them to help while packing lunch? They can help prepare homemade granola, make sandwiches, peel fruit, or simply make bread and fruit choices! By making the choice, they’ll feel part ownership in their healthy packed lunch and will be more inclined to eat it!
Bonus: You’ll get to spend quality family time too!
5. Include a Healthy Treat
A treat is always something special that kids look forward to! Why not include it in their lunch? Here’s a list of healthy treats that they’ll love:
- Fruit kebobs
- Homemade fruit roll-ups or fruit snacks
- Frozen yogurt
- All natural pudding cups
- Homemade granola bars
- Raisin boxes or other dried fruit
- Whole-wheat chocolate chip muffins
There are lots more recipes and ideas that can make your kids LOVE lunch time! Happy packing!