Healthy Habits for Kids: Lunchbox Lessons – 5 Tips for Packing a Better Lunch
Trying to pack a healthy and delicious lunch 5 days a week can be quite the challenge! It’s a tricky balancing act of putting together food that is nutritious while also being food that your kids will eat!
5 Tips for Packing a Better Lunch
#1: Organize – Set up a cupboard where you keep all the lunch gear such as reusable containers, lids, thermoses, water bottles, lunch bags etc. Make sure it’s a cupboard that your kids can reach since they’ll be helping you out!
Designating a specific place for all the lunch gear means that everyone knows where things are when putting together lunches! It’ll also help your kids to put their lunch items in the right place when they are emptying the dishwasher.
#2: Team Work – Get your whole family involved with lunch preparation. It eases the workload on you and teaches your kids valuable life skills. Children of all ages can and should help with planning and preparing their lunch. Kids are far more likely to eat lunches that they helped put together!
#3: Plan Ahead – Take some time to sit with your kids and find out what healthy foods they like to eat. Come up with a simple lunch menu for the week, then put together your shopping list before you head out to the grocery store. That way you are buying items that will get used up during the week rather than ending up spoiling in the fridge.
#4 Think Rainbow – Fruits and vegetables are a must have for healthy lunches! Kids eat with their eyes so have fun chopping colourful fruits and vegetables into fun shapes. There are lots of great kitchen tools that make it easy to create fun designs and patterns!
Try making small fruit kabobs as a fun alternative. If your kids aren’t too fond of fruits and vegetables, try including yummy dips such as their favorite salad dressing, hummus or plain yogurt. Dipping makes eating more fun!
Cutting up fruits and vegetables into to smaller pieces makes it easier for your kids to eat them. Carrot sticks, apple slices or loose grapes are much more appealing to kids than having to deal with the whole fruit or vegetable.
#5: Balancing Act – Try to incorporate a variety of proteins, grains, and produce for every lunch. Keep things interesting by switching between sandwiches, pita pockets, wraps, and leftovers. That way you won’t get stuck in the same old rut day after day!
When you have time toss in a little note maybe with a joke on it or a funny message – it’s a great way to be a part of your child’s day at school!
Putting together a healthy lunch can be easy with a little planning, creativity, and most importantly by getting the whole family involved!
Kia Robertson is a mom and the creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit; a tool that helps parents establish healthy habits by setting the goal of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day.