*This is a contributed post. I only accept contributed posts when I feel they can be relevant to the readers of Sunshine and Holly.*
I don’t know about you, but I hate packing lunches! We all want our kids to be eating a balanced diet, but constantly coming up with new, healthy, and exciting lunches is no easy feat. In fact, Frodo’s march on Mordor was probably a more desirable challenge. Ha! It isn’t just because our imagination is lacking or time is short, but also because most of us can’t imagine our kids would be happy to open up a lunch box full of edamame beans, kale, and spinach.
So if you’re stuck in a rut with your kid’s lunches, check out some of the tips below. I’ve got some “simple to make” and “scrumptious to eat” ideas that can take your lunch boxes out of the realm of dull and unhealthy, and into the world of delicious and nutritious!
1. A Twist On The Classic Sandwich
Sandwiches are a staple of every lunch box, and they should never be taken for granted. However, it’s easy for a kid to get bored of eating the same sandwiches with the same fillings. Unless you’re my son…then you’ll want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich 365 days of the year. But some kids like variety. And a little bit of something new can go a long way! So either ditch the sandwich and make some homemade pasta and shake things up like that, or do something new, like making a double-decker sandwich, or cutting the sandwich into star shapes, hearts, or even letters. This will encourage a kid to eat even the healthiest of sandwiches. Give it a try! Another thing you can do is to create a little twist on their favorite ingredients. Do they love cheese sandwiches? Why not switch things up by grating the cheese and mixing it with grated apple? Just add some mayo and a little squeeze of lemon. Done!
2. Something To Wash It Down
There are lots of healthy drink options on the market these days, besides just milk and water. You can find almost any flavor of organic juice boxes and pouches. My kids also love the boxes of flavored organic milk. Another option to try is flavored water, like Hint flavored water. It’s fun, yummy, healthy and natural, which makes it ideal for kid’s lunchboxes. Yup, it’s a winner!
3. Swap Out Those Nasty Snacks
What makes foods unhealthy? High sugar and/or high salt content. That’s why you should try and find healthy alternatives to chips, cookies, and chocolate bars. Even most “healthy” granola bars are loaded with sugar. Luckily, there are plenty of other options out there that are easy to pack. Things like unsalted nuts, dried fruit, low-fat yogurt, and cheese are all great. What kid wouldn’t love a fruit sundae in their lunch? Top it with granola for extra nutrition. Another idea is an easy-to-peel clementine, apple slices with peanut butter, or tangerine slices dipped in chocolate. Yum! Or what about chips made out of sweet potato or other healthy veggies? There are tons of healthy alternatives to try.
If there is one thing you take away from this list, let it be this: the power of novelty should not be underestimated. Ever. Good luck packing those lunches!