Healthy Lunch Ideas Kids will Love
A healthy lunch are easier than you think!
Summer has sadly come to an end and school is now in full swing. That of course means that the loose routines we have been enjoying all summer of sleeping in and picnics at the playground, lounging on the beach and late-night campfires are behind us.
We are now in a whole new routine, the “back-to-school” routine. One part of this routine might include packing school lunches. Many mamas choose to pack lunch for their kids for a variety of reasons.
Maybe you have a picky eater who doesn’t like healthy lunch options the school provides. You may want more control over what your child eats, as opposed to leaving it up to the school. There are also dietary restrictions and food allergies to consider, as well
Of course, this only works as the best option if that healthy lunch is actually eaten by your kids. I don’t know how many rotten apples I would find in my backpack as a kid because I would take them out of my lunch box and forget about them. Gross, right?
And I would usually throw away any peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that my mom made, too. Don’t get me wrong. I do love peanut butter and jelly ( I still eat them on occasion), but when they are made in the morning and then left for several hours in a sandwich bag, they end up all soggy and sticky.
That’s just the food that I didn’t eat. I wasn’t one of those kids who would trade my food, but we all know that it happens. The “healthy” food mom packs for lunch ends up getting traded for chips and cupcakes.
The healthy lunch process.
What you really need to do is find that balance between what is “mama approved” (the healthy lunch option) and what your kids will actually enjoy eating.
This is actually easier than it sounds. You just have to get your kids involved in the process of packing their school lunches. How do you do that?
The first step is talking to them about what they want to eat for lunch. You can write down a list of options together and talk about why each item should or shouldn’t be in their school lunch. For instance, having a lot of candy will make them too tired for afternoon recess or after-school sports.
Once you have a decent list that you both approve of, it’s time to head to the store so that you will be prepared for the lunch-making rush. Getting your kids involved as much as possible ensures that they will have a lunch box full of food that they want to eat.
Another way to get your kids involved in the school lunch process is to let them make their lunches themselves from the approved items that you both agreed on beforehand. Even younger children can help with the picking and packing of their lunches. This alone will help to guarantee the lunch boxes return home empty.
If you do have little ones, they can start out helping you and eventually gain more responsibility as their skills improve. This way has a few benefits:
They are learning to make smart & healthy food decisions.
They are taking lunches that they want to eat.
They are learning kitchen life skills that they can use when helping to make other meals for the family or preparing their own snacks.
A word of caution with the healthy lunch!
Of course, only allowing your children the “healthy lunch” options may backfire on you. This is just a word of warning. You will need to make allowances for some snacks, at least every once in a while.
You don’t want your children to eventually go on strike and quit eating everything that they loved before because they are bored and need a cupcake every now and then. It’s all about balance. Remember that and lunchtime will be a much easier task this next school year.
Getting a healthy lunch making routine down is important. So is getting your entire life organized. If that is something you have been wondering about, check out this post that will explain how getting organized actually makes your life easier.