When your child is away at school, you still want to assure yourself that your child is eating a healthy lunch. Since food is essential to proper brain function and focus, you want to make sure your child is eating the right foods as well.
Since lunch is a fairly short period of time, you want to make sure the meals you pack are simple and easy to eat. Small foods- or foods cut into smaller pieces- baby carrots, smaller pieces of celery, etc. are easier and more fun for your child too. Kids often like repetition. As long as it’s healthy, continue to allow this. Be sure to pack gel packs of ice or frozen juice and insulated thermoses (soup- easy to pack and get) to keep food the correct temperature.
Instead of mayonnaise, try guacamole or an avocado spread, which is a nice spread that houses a healthier type of fat.
Sandwiches are always a win. Sandwiches can be done and achieved a number of ways. By changing the insides and the bread, you can have a ton of different meals. Croissants, pitas, sourdough, wheat, white, English muffins, tortillas, small bagels, focaccia, raisin bread, and cornbread are all great changes. You can make peanut butter and jelly, turkey, cheese, ham, bologna, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, or roast beef sandwiches. You can serve crackers instead of bread with bites of cheese and turkey. Instead of mayonnaise, try guacamole or an avocado spread, which is a nice spread that houses a healthier type of fat. If you can get away with adding lettuce, vegetables, or cucumber on the sandwich, add some for an extra health benefit. Another change you can make is allowing your child to put together its own sandwich. Pack the ingredients separately and let him go from there. Another cute, fun snack is a “kebob” with meat and cheese on a popsicle stick. Also, cutting sandwiches into fun shapes might make your child more willing to eat it (and happier). In addition to the sandwich, throw in a fruit cup, baby carrots, no-sugar added apple sauce, edamame, or a piece of fruit. Instead of serving vegetables with ranch dressing as a dip, serve it with hummus- a healthy but tasty.
Leftovers are a good option, and try to avoid chips and other processed sides. If the morning is a huge rush, go ahead and pack your child’s lunch at night. Get it together as much as you can, and then add the last of it in the morning as your send your child out the door.