The backpacks are packed, the first day of school outfits are picked out, and the pencils are sharpened. All that’s left to do now is send your kiddos off to a new school year with a healthy and fun lunch they’ll be excited about Monday through Friday for the next nine months. Easy enough, right?
Have no fear; here are a few ideas to keep your kids looking forward to popping open their lunch boxes open.
Add Some Variety
As the saying goes, “Variety is the spice of life.” There’s nothing wrong with the classics of pb&j, string cheese, and carrot sticks, but let’s face it, those can get a little dull too.
You’ll want to mix in a good balance of foods from the food pyramid, with a focus on whole grains, fruits, and veggies, as well as some proteins, dairy, and healthy fats. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of sugar in the form of the occasional cookie, but watch out for foods that are loaded with added sugars and high fructose corn syrup.
Here are a few ideas to mix things up:
- Apple rings
- Chicken avocado roll-ups
- Honey and granola energy balls
- Pasta salad
- Sweet potato hummus
- Egg muffins
- Cauliflower mac & cheese
Consider Opting for Homemade
It’s easy to see the appeal of tossing in an Uncrustable, Gogurt, or Lunchable. These prepackaged products are huge time savers. However, many of these products are loaded with sodium and excess sugar. Take the popular turkey and cheese with Capri Sun Lunchable, for example. It has 690 calories, with 200 of those being fat, and accounts for 58% of a child’s recommended daily sodium intake.
Using a bento box and filling it with homemade foods is oftentimes not only a cheaper route to take but a healthier one too.
Cookie Cutter Creativity
Every parent has been there… Your child comes home from school, you open up their lunch box, and there it is – a barely touched sandwich. Your child usually loves ham and cheese, so what went wrong? Perhaps it wasn’t a flavor issue but a visual one.
People are visual eaters, kids included! An easy way to make lunches more appealing is to break out some cookie cutters and cut foods into fun shapes. This doesn’t have to be exclusively for sandwiches. Fruits, veggies, cheese slices, and even desserts can benefit from cookie-cutter creativity.
Kids love to know that their parents are thinking about them throughout the day. A simple way to do this is to draw a doodle on their brown bag or Ziplock. It could be a funny face, an inside joke – whatever!
Take things up a notch and toss in the occasional note, wishing them luck on an upcoming test or simply saying, “I love you!” You may not get an enthusiastic “Thanks, Mom” when they stroll in the door, but trust us, it’s appreciated.
Sending your children off to school with a lunch that’s healthy and fun doesn’t have to be a complicated ordeal. Really all it takes is a little planning and creativity. Who knows, they may just end up the envy of the lunch table!
Dripping Springs has some fantastic public schools, educating children from elementary all the way up through 12th grade. To learn more about schools served by the Dripping Springs ISD and find a home here, contact the Caliterra team today.