What you pack in your kid’s lunch doesn’t have to be boring, bland or unhealthy. With a little creativity, you can create nutritious lunch box meals your children will happily eat at school.
Ditch the white bread
Sandwiches often get a bad rap when it comes to nutrition. You don’t need to forget about sandwiches altogether, but you might need to change your bread. Stop using white bread and use whole-grain bread instead to make your kids’ lunches. Whole-grain breads aren’t all nutty and grainy. You can find many soft, delicious breads that are so good your kids won’t even notice the white bread is gone. Instead of traditional bread, experiment with tortillas, flatbread and wraps for a change of pace. Wrap chicken (protein), avocado (good fat) and cheese (calcium and vitamins) for a healthy lunch they’ll love.
Use Canadian cheese
Wholesome, flavourful Canadian cheese is a nutritious addition to any lunch. Rich in calcium, protein and other nutrients, sliced Canadian cheese makes the perfect topper to any sandwich. Also consider chopping cheese into cubes and mixing them with cubed melon for a delicious treat your kids will love at lunchtime. You can even skewer cheese and fruit for yummy kebabs your kids will love.
Keep in mind
Canadian cheese is also a great way to get your little ones to eat their veggies. Melt cheese over broccoli, cauliflower and any other veggies your kids usually resist. You might be surprised to see them gobble them down!
Add some fibre
Fibre will fill them up and is healthy too. Think beyond the sandwich, and consider serving lean meat or veggies mixed with brown rice, pasta and beans. Use a bento box or other sealed container to keep the parts of their lunch separated. Use an insulated lunch box or bag too.
Make a rabbit bag
In a zippered bag, add munchies for your little one’s lunch that include orange wedges, apple slices, raw carrots, celery sticks, raw cauliflower and more. Add a small container of dip on the side. Kids love dip, and it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. They’ll love dipping their veggies in hummus, salsa, bean dip or even a little light ranch dressing.
Choose the right drink
Skip the soda and other sugary drinks. When packing your child’s lunch box, include water (plain or naturally flavoured), skim or soy milk (even chocolate is nutritious) or vegetable juice. If your kids love fruit juice, dilute it heavily with water. When it comes to drinks, be wary of the portion size. Other than water, kids shouldn’t be drinking large amounts of liquid. Most of the time, 4 to 8 ounces is all they need.
Give them a treat
Kids want to see a treat in their lunch box, but just because it’s tasty doesn’t mean it should be unhealthy. Fresh fruit is a fabulous choice, but if they crave something more, serve baked goods made with wholesome, nutritious ingredients. Try these healthy back-to-school lunch box desserts, including carrot cupcakes and almond butter cookies.