As many parents are sending their kids back to school, possibly for the first time in the last year or maybe even ever.
Regardless of whether it’s their senior year or the first day of kindergarten, you may be wondering how you can continue apply the healthy habits you’re implementing at home, to school.
I’m here to help you plan your kids school lunches with this easy approach!
How To Build Your Kiddos Lunch Box
1. Most important…PROTEIN! Yep, kids need it too!
Choose any one lean protein. Remember, the less legs it has the leaner it is. When portioning, think one to two palm size (your kids palm size) portions.
2. Choose any two veggies
For example…baby carrots, sliced cucumbers, sweet bell pepper sticks, grape tomatoes. Whatever you can get your kid to agree to. Greek dressing makes a great dip, pairing with hummus is another great option!
Eat the rainbow! For portioning purposes, shoot for one to two fist sized portions (again your kids fist).
3. Choose one fresh fruit
Think one cupped handful as far as portion size.
Melon, berries, grapes, bananas…just stick the fresh from the earth natural stuff and steer clear of the sugar packed stuff that comes in jars. It’s convenient, but when in doubt, fresh is best.
4. Pick one whole grain
Just like with the fruit, portion size should be about one cupped handful. Choices like whole grain pasta tossed in Italian dressing with some fresh veggies, brown rice, quinoa, baked oatmeal made with steel-cut oats, brown rice and quinoa are all great options.
If you choose to incorporate dairy unflavored milk, greek yogurt, cottage cheese string cheese are decent choices.
Try to steer away from the juice pouches if you can help it and lean towards fruit infused water instead.
Now that you’ve got all of these choices, how are you going your kid to get said vegetables???
It’s all about presentation!
When my daughter was in kindergarten, the movie “How To Train Your Dragon” was all the rage. I convinced her to switch from peanut butter sandwiches to tuna because it was Toothless the dragons favorite. The next thing you knew, half her kindergarten class was eating tuna sandwiches for lunch. Sorry, Mrs. Argento….
Bento boxes are so much fun and feel fancy! Kabobs, because who doesn’t like to eat their food off a stick! Shapes! I spent k-3rd cutting my kids food into shapes with a cookie cutters. Themes! Mexican, Chinese, Pizza (kick it old school and make it at DIY pizza lunchable, use mini naan.)
Get your kids involved!
Have your kids help pack their lunches! Give them choices and let them pick from those choices. Teach them to cut, peel, chop. Not only are you teaching them valuable skills, its quality time well spent. Time that they will remember for years to come.
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