Back to school time comes with a laundry list of questions and things to do – Do they have enough school clothes? Do they have the right backpack? What about a lunch box? Do they have all of their school supplies? What will they do after school? Who will be there when they get home?
One of these questions, which is often times left for the last minute, is what to pack them for lunch? With so many different food allergies to think about, and not to mention picky eaters, it’s sometimes a struggle to come up with something good and healthy to pack the kids for lunch, that they’ll eat. So, don’t just leave it for the last minute. Read below for some ideas that are just as tasty as they are healthy.
Also, let your kids sometimes help you pack their lunch. Give them choices with a few different options and have them choose which one they prefer. It will not only be empowering for them, but the more they help you pack their lunch, the sooner they may be able to do it themselves! Just make sure to offer them a few options to pack for each food group, to help ensure they have a well balanced meal, and not just cookies and gummies.
Main Dishes: A good starting point for every lunch.
- Sandwiches and wraps are a good choice to start with. If peanut butter isn’t an option in your school, almond or sunflower butter is a good substitute for a PBJ. Otherwise, turkey or tuna works. Include a freezer pack if using meat and/or mayo or dairy options. Also, try to opt for a multi or whole-grain bread option over white bread.
- If your child isn’t a fan of sandwiches, try rolling up some deli meat slices instead. Pair it with cheese and throw in some crackers as well. This way, they can make up their own mini sandwiches if they choose, or they can eat them as a snack.
- Pasta – another good option for a main dish. Whether it’s leftover ziti from the night before, or mac & cheese, both are great hits in a Tupperware.* (Don’t forget the fork).
- Yogurt – this can be a main or a side, depending on your child. Squeezable yogurts in tubes or pouches are a super easy option here. Just include a freezer pack when packing yogurt.
Sides: Veggies, Fruit & Dairy to help round out their meal.
- Veggies – Cut-up carrots, peppers, cucumbers (cut or whole mini cucumbers), and whole cherry tomatoes in a Ziploc bag are a super easy way to pack veggies (and vitamins) in your kids’ lunch. Try mixing it up with a few different veggie combos; have your kids choose two each day to add to their lunch.
- Fruit – Berries or cut up fruit in a bag or Tupperware, or mini apples are an easy add on to any lunch.
- Yogurt – if you haven’t already packed this as a main.
- Cheese – either in stick, slice or cube form.
Something Special: Maybe you want to pop in something special to help brighten your child’s day.
- Dr Pops Lollipops – are a fun dessert surprise for your child. They are all-natural & full of vitamins, with no added sugar, so it won’t give them a sugar rush that a typical dessert item may.
- Stickers or a special note are also a great surprise to add to their lunch.
- Another small, special dessert ‘treat’ your child loves.
*When shopping for groceries, make sure you have enough sandwich zip lock baggies, freezer packs & small Tupperware to pack with.
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