Packing a healthy, delicious lunch for your kids doesn’t have to be a challenge. In fact, it can be a fun way to involve them in weekly or daily meal preparation, and to pass along important lessons about healthy eating. Here are some simple ideas to keep those lunchboxes colorful, nutritious, and satisfying.
- Streamline the process: Pick one day a week to make the grocery store run and to do food prep. Carving out an hour or two on one day can ensure convenience and ease throughout the rest of the week. Not a bad return on a healthy investment!
- Involve the kids: Delegate washing and chopping duties to the kiddos while you put away the other groceries. Extra credit: use creative cutters for fruits and veggies in order to make fun shapes such as stars, flowers, and hearts.
- Use colorful combinations: Consider packing lunches Bento box style, combining fun shapes and colors. A healthy eating habit is to combine different colors of fruits and vegetables, as that ensures a wonderful variety of vitamins and minerals. So try that! Make a rainbow of fruits for dessert. Or have fun seeing how many of the same color you can find. For example, in the fall, how many shades of orange can you get from peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes and clementines? Go all green for St. Patrick’s Day!
- Customize trends: Why not create your own version of the current food trends? This is another way to involve the kiddos. What attracts their attention in the store? What do they notice around the table at lunch time? You can easily create healthy versions of these popular trends using their favorite meats, cheeses, nuts, fruits, and veggies. Incorporate special crackers, chips, and yogurt packets to complete the meal. You can mix and match these ingredients throughout the week.