How To... Pack A Healthy Lunchbox
Getting kids to eat a balanced diet can be a headache. School lunches provide extra obstacles because you aren’t even there to monitor what your children are eating, but don’t lose hope yet. By using the helpful tips in this list below, you can learn how to pack the perfect school lunch -- one that is tempting, tasty and nutritious too!
Step 1: Choose nutrient dense foods
According to the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans released in 2010 by the USDA, one of the best ways to achieve a healthy diet is to begin with nutrient dense foods and beverages. This includes fruits, veggies, whole grains, low-fat milk products, seafood, lean meats, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds and legumes. These are the building blocks of any healthy diet. When choosing foods to put in your children's lunches, try to make most of your choices from the list above.
For example, some main course options might be:
All of these foods are excellent choices because they are high in fiber, rich in nutrients and full of protein.
Step 2: Pick wholesome side dishes
Side dishes don't have to be full of chemicals, salt and sugar to be fun. Get creative and pick healthy sides that are nutritious and delicious. With tempting, kid-friendly choices like these, your children won't find themselves wandering off to the vending machine:
Step 3: Include a healthy beverage
Don't ruin your child's wholesome lunch by tossing in an unhealthy beverage full of added sugar and chemicals. The best choices are the most natural. Fresh water with lemon, unsweetened herbal teas, fruit smoothies, low-fat milk and fresh fruit juices are all healthy picks that your kids will enjoy.
Step 4: Mix it up and keep it fresh
Don't get stuck in a rut! No one likes to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every day. Keep it exciting and mix it up. If your children's school allows students to heat up their lunches, don't forget to utilize any yummy leftovers you have on hand.
Make sure you have the supplies to pack foods in a way that keep them looking tasty and inviting. Who wants to eat a pear that's been smushed at the bottom of a paper bag beneath a heavy thermos? Consider investing in some cute reusable tins that you can use over and over again. Keep it fun. Keep it fresh. Before you know it, your kids will be chowing down every day on nutritious, balanced, healthy foods at lunchtime.
More ways to raise healthy kids
For more healthy eating tips for kids, check this out: