Packing a healthy school lunch

Getting your kids to eat it is another issue entirely.  Since the advent of the doughnut, parents have struggled to convince their kids to eat the nutritious foods they prepare for them.

The following are a few tips along with sample cold lunches that may help get your kids to finally eat those veggie sticks while they are at school.

Make lunches fun!

At first glance, the look and taste of Lunchables® isn’t anything special. Contrary to appearances, however, Lunchables quickly became one of Oscar Meyer’s most successful products, partly due to the fun kids have eating them. Consider making your own healthy alternative. Pack some whole grain crackers, lean meat, cubed or sliced cheese, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, celery sticks, etc. and allow kids to build their own sandwiches. Consider using cookie cutters to cut the meat into fun shapes. Use the leftover scraps of meat on a chef salad you can take for your own lunch.

Add in tasty dips.

With a tasty dip, veggies can appear a bit more appealing to kids. Various dip options can be just as healthy as the veggies; but your kids will never know. Cheeses or creams are often the base of dips. Avocados contain healthy fats, which still provide a lot of flavor. As an added bonus, the fat in the dip will actually help enhance the absorption of carotenoids and fat soluble vitamins, as well.  Fat doesn’t need to be the principle ingredient in dips. Recipes using yogurt can be full of flavor, and hummus is mostly made of beans, which pack a fiber- and protein-laden nutritional punch.

Involve kids in the purchasing and preparation process.

Letting your kids help choose foods for their lunch at the grocery store makes them feel like they have some control, which may increase their willingness to eat them. Make sure you’re comfortable with all the options presented. Kids may enjoy preparing their own foods, with help from you, depending on their age. As kids prepare the food, they become more comfortable with the ingredients and the dish as a whole, and may be more likely to eat it.

Make it sweet.

Kids love sweet foods. While it is still advisable to limit the amount of sweetener used in the preparation of their foods, consider adding a little fruit puree, agave, dark chocolate chips, honey or maple syrup to enhance their appeal. Purchase meats and nuts with a honey glaze. Add fresh fruit to a vegetable smoothie. Incorporate fruits into whole-grain baked goods like breads, muffins or cookies.

Mila by PURE is a whole food that is great for children and adults alike. Each serving contains 3g of ALA omega-3 fatty acid which play a crucial role in normal growth and development and brain function.* Mila can be consumed on its own or incorporated into your favorite dishes, yogurt and smoothies. Learn more.

Share with us your tips and tricks on making healthier school lunches for your children.

This article is for nutrition information purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of a qualified health provider with any health or nutrition concerns you may have. The information in this article is not intended to promote any specific product, or for the prevention or treatment of any disease.

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