It's that time again. With all the other things we have to be concerned about lunches shouldn't have to cause so much stress and panic. Here are some tips on packing your kiddos healthy lunches that will fuel them and provide good nutrients that will support them while at school.
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
Send your kids off with a good start. Make sure they get a good breakfast so they wont be so hungry and will be able to focus on school when they arrive. Smoothies are saviors. You can blend any combination you want. If you have a chocolate blend going on, add an avocado for good hearty fat. If your doing fruit smoothies be sure to drop in some supplements that will be of benefit to your kids. Since back to school comes hand in hand with all the germs(pun intended), I like to boost my kids Vitamin C intake. Pomegranate and acerola cherry powder both blend in nicely with fruit smoothies.
WHAT WORKED FOR ME:
Remember that list I talked about in my last blog? The list of food that your kids will eat, maybe will eat, and foods you'd like them to try to eat. Ok, get that list and plan out a week of options so you wont be caught off guard the morning of. When adjusting to healthy eating habits its more important that you stay on track vs how fast you get your kids eating kale. Being consistent is the key. Once you get into a routine of this you wont really need that list or the planned out lunches because you will be accustom to what works and what doesn't.
Also I choose not use a microwave on any food we eat so that plays a big part in what I pack. With the help of a convenient and eco-friendly lunch box (www.planetbox.com), most of the food stays as is by the time my son consumes it at lunchtime, and doesn't need any reheating or refrigerating.
Things that work Great:
Nuts- You can make your own trail mixes by incorporating different nuts, seeds, and dried fruit.
Eggs- Boiled eggs, omelet, egg muffins
Fruit- chopped, whole, pureed, dried
Veggies- chopped, roasted, wrapped, raw, baked (veggie chips)
Snacks- Popcorn, crackers, dried fruit, jerky, kale chips, veggie chips, fruit chips, bars, and muffins.
The younger your kids are the more the options should be available. This is a good way to gauge what they are interested in when away from home. I stopped focusing on one big item, and just fill the lunch box with lots of options. Good healthy snack options are more common than not, and you can find them at any grocery now a day. If you do have a big eater try cold pastas, fried rice combinations, and cold wraps.
And remember, make small adjustments at a time. When transitioning picky eaters you can't rush things. My sons lunch wasn't always gluten free and full of veggies. Be easy on yourself because once upon a time I was winning if my child ate his cucumbers!