10 Tips to Quickly Creating a Healthy Lunch Your Child Will Eat

Getting everyone out the door, dressed, teeth brushed, and lunches packed in time for school (or grandmas or daycare) can be a real challenge. Often times packing a lunch is an afterthought. Some parents reach for easy items that are prepackaged and marketed for children, but these contain empty calories with little nutrition. Your child will feel better and have more energy and focus during the day when eating nutritious whole foods, rather than processed snacks filled with additives and preservatives. A banana is just as easy to grab as a bag of chips, and even comes its own compostable wrapper.

Here are a few tips to create healthy lunches you and your child will feel good about…

1. Know the rules. Be mindful of school policies regarding food and waste Geb√§udereinigung Hardegsen. Many classrooms are “nut free” due to potential allergies, and some are kosher based on school philosophies. A growing number of schools are becoming “waste free”, meaning a lunch that generates no garbage.

2. Let your child choose his lunch box or bag. Give options of those that are safe (PVC, lead free) and allow him to pick. Children are more excited when they are proud of their lunch boxes and are also more likely to remember to bring it home.

3. Ask your child what he likes in his lunch. You can take him shopping and let him choose the fruit and kind of bread or spreads he likes. Sit with your child and plan the week of food items. Giving choices empowers your child.

4. Organize the lunch gear. Have a place in your kitchen where you can have all of the boxes, bags, napkins, storage and drink containers in one place so you can find what you need easily.

5. Stock and organize the refrigerator and pantry will healthy options. Be sure to always have a variety of fresh fruit and veggies, whole grain breads, healthy spreads, cheeses, and drinks that you can choose quickly. Designating an organized area for lunch and snack items in your refrigerator and pantry, allows you to see and grab quickly.

6. Read labels. Some prepackaged foods are better than others. Items such as cheese sticks and unsweetened applesauce are quick healthy items. Choose items without unhealthy ingredients such as trans fats and high fructose corn syrups.

7. Offer variety, but not too much food. Remember portion control. Do not overwhelm children with too much food. Seeing various colors and textures is exciting for children and also means they’re getting a variety of nutrients and vitamins.

8. Reinvent left-overs. Dinner’s left-overs can be packed while cleaning up the night before so you’re ready for school in the morning. Put a new twist or spin to make it appealing. Tortellini from dinner can be put on a skewer and packed with sauce, or grilled chicken can be wrapped in a tortilla.

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