The Lunchbox Challenge

Picky eater? Nut free school? Variety challenged?

If you send your kids to school with a homemade lunch each day, you may be dealing with at least one of these issues … or worse!  When it comes to putting together your children’s lunch menu for the week, think outside of the sandwich. Just because you are sending a packed lunch, doesn’t mean that you have to send a sandwich every single day. There are many wonderful, very healthy sandwiches, but thinking outside of the bread will give you many more options.

What to pack?

What good is putting healthy food in the kids’ lunch if they won’t eat it? If you’re having a difficult time thinking of ideas for what to make that sends home an empty lunchbox, go to the place they will be eating it. Check the school menu; if their classmates will be eating hotdogs on a particular day, make an organic, grass-fed beef hot dog, place it on a sprouted seed bun, add mustard with apple “fries” on the side. Your children will have a nutritious lunch that looks just like their classmates. Other ideas include making your child’s lunches look fun. It is super easy to add a smiley face with blueberries to their pancakes, or make a colorful rainbow with fruit slices such as cantaloupe, strawberries, and kiwi.

                            

Give Them a Choice!

Once you have established an organic, nutritious and delicious lunch menu that your child is actually eating, let your children help to decide what to have for lunch each day. Keep a bin in your refrigerator full of fruits, vegetables, high-energy snacks and other whole foods that they can quickly pick from each morning to add to their lunch box. This is also a great idea for keeping snacks at eye-level in the refrigerator and encouraging healthy snacking habits at home as well.

Cold winter days 

For days when it is bitter cold outside, a ‘hot’ lunch hits the spot and kids seem to appreciate a warm tummy when recess arrives. Soups, mac-n-cheese, hotdogs and beans are delicious ways to fill their bellies.  Sending a hot lunch to school is easily managed by investing in a nice-quality thermos that will keep their lunch warm until mid-day. We are not crazy about the use of microwaves, but if you do not have a thermos, we suggest using the micro on low for a shorter amount of time.

 Thanks to Nature Box for the image

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