Mornings are c-r-a-z-y, especially now that school is back in session! We’re right there with ya. So, when it comes to packing lunch for your kids, have no fear! We’ve kept it super simple for you so your kiddos walk out the door with a stellar, well-balanced lunch every day and you walk out the door with a “Super Parent” award!
Here are our 5 components of a perfect lunch (you can count them on one hand!):
This can come in many shapes and sizes…literally! Turkey sandwiches, peanut butter and jelly on a tortilla, cut-up hardboiled eggs…get creative, and make sure you pack a little protein punch to get them through the day. Yogurt can be a wonderful source of protein as well as a great way to regulate your child’s digestive system. There are tons of different flavors, so have your child help pick out his or her favorite! (Some yogurts can be very high in sugar—the lower the sugar count, the better! Don’t forget to read those nutrition labels.)
Fruit prices fluctuate depending on whether or not they’re in season—so shop seasonal! When unsure of what to get, a sliced banana is a great way to get some fruit into your kid’s diet. Make sure to cut up anything your kiddo could choke on (i.e. grapes). Pre-packaged fruit cups can be convenient, but high in sugar, so the fresher the better!
We all love that satisfying little crunch! There are some great ways to incorporate something “crunchy” without tossing in a bag of potato chips. Pita chips, Nabisco 100 Calorie Snack Packs, Goldfish, Wheat Thins, pretzels and pretzel thins…there are a lot of healthy options that, when eaten in moderation, provide just enough crunch to satisfy your little one. Portion them in individual baggies ahead of time so you can simply throw the bag of crunchy goodness into the lunch box!
I’ve always been an advocate for “everything in moderation,” so why not teach your kids from a young age about controlling their portions? A handful of M&Ms, a fun size candy bar, or even homemade mini cookies, muffins, or a sweet treat that your kids helped to make…the possibilities are endless! (Tip: This can be a fun weekend activity to prep for the week.)
You packed food for their tummies, so don’t forget food for their heart! My mom wrote a note in my lunch every single day and it always made me smile. Get creative! Plan a series of notes that build on each other for the week. A holiday coming up? Slip in a little holiday doodle! Be encouraging, be silly, or be sweet…just let your little one know you’re thinking of them!