As the summer winds down and kids prepare to head backto school, many parents feel a mixed bag of emotions. While the summer always creates lots of fun memories, it can also be refreshing to jump back into a season of more structure and routine. One aspect of the busy routine of the school year that many parents try to master is finding time to make healthy lunches for kids to take to school. Here are some ideas for making sure your kids always have wholesome lunches with them at school.
Start before the school year starts and figure out which foods your kids enjoy and will likely eat when you send them to school with their lunchbox. Stock up on these foods to make sure you always have them for quick access and prep throughout the week. Pick a couple of days during the week that you will make your kids’ lunches ahead of time to make sure you can spend time making sure their meals are healthy without spending too much time prepping their lunches every day. Try toinvolve your kids when prepping their lunches to teach them the importance of choosing healthy foods and to make sure they will eat their lunches.
Healthy Food Choices
When it comes to picking out lunches with little prep time, there are several staples to have on hand. For protein, hard boiled eggs are a good way to go since they are quick to prepare and pack easily in a lunch box. Other good proteins for school lunches include nuts, dairy-free yogurt, and hummus.
Be sure to focus on packing complex carbohydrates for your kids in their lunches, such as granola. If you can, avoid soft breads or rolls since they can get squished easily inside the lunch box. Gluten free bagels andpita bread are good alternatives since they are tasty and will hold up better inside the box.
Of course, you’ll want to include a good assortment of fruits and veggies. Bell peppers, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, and other crunchy veggies are all essentials to have in your refrigerator to cut up and put in your kids’ lunch boxes. Mixed berries, banana slices, baby oranges, and apples are also great healthy fruits that are easy and quick to prep and pack.
Many schools don’t have refrigerators for kids to store their lunches, so be sure to place an icepack inside the lunch box to keep the food fresh!
By making intentional food choices and taking the time to prepare ahead of time, you canhelp your kids eat healthy throughout the day and to experience the benefits of a healthy diet.