I have a love/hate relationship with school lunches.
As in, I love it for the first week, and dread it by the second week.
Between making lunches that can withstand the swinging, kicking and sitting on of the lunchbox and making things that are allergy-free, kid-approved and healthy - I'm out of creative ideas before the school year has even begun.
Regardless, making healthy lunches is a priority for me.On average, our children eat 200+ school lunches each year.
Stats show that Students who eat from the cafeteria are more likely to be overweight or obese, eat less than 2 servings of fruits & vegetables a day and drink 2 or more sugary drinks a day.
The impact of a poor diet on your child's success in school is greater than you might realize. An unhealthy diet will deplete their energy, skew their concentration and alter their mood - none for the better. It also increases their risk for obesity, low self-esteem, chronic illness and affects their ability to make healthier choices as they get older.On the flip side ...
We can help our kids concentrate better, have more energy, be in a better mood and have an overall more successful and enjoyable school year by brown bagging it with some healthy (and simple) school lunches.
By developing good habits and healthy tastebuds you are also setting them up for a healthier future by decreasing their risk for obesity and chronic illness while also encouraging healthy self-esteem and healthier lifestyle choices as they get older.20 School Lunch Ideas They'll Love
2C Whole grain macaroni noodles
1C shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 425F and cook yam for 1hr, or until soft. Meanwhile, cook macaroni noodles until soft. Once yam is ready, remove from skin and mash with a fork. Combine noodles, yam and cheese and stir well until melted and well combined. Spray 6 muffin tin with EVOO and divide among muffing tins. Sprinkle with pepper and bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
Serves 3 (a serving is 2)
2 whole peppers
1C cooked quinoa
4 Tbsp shredded cheese
Preheat oven to 375F. Remove tops from peppers and dice into small pieces. Remove seeds from pepper. Combine quinoa, diced peppers, spinach and cheese and place inside pepper. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
Apple, Cheese & Turkey Grill
4 slices whole grain bread
4 slices cheese
1/2 apple, thinly sliced
2 slices low-sodium, nitrate-free turkey
Preheat pan on low-med heat and spray with EVOO. Divide cheese, turkey and apple over two slices of bread and top with the other 2 slices. Place in pan and cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
Eating a healthy breakfast is also shown to help improve kids cognitive function (especially memory), reduce absenteeism, and improve mood.
Check out these breakfast ideas - 5 Breakfast Recipes We Love!
What are some of your favourite healthy school lunches?
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