Kid Lunch Ideas and the Importance of a Healthy Lunch
When I was growing up it was the same thing for lunch just about everyday, peanut butter and jam, or peanut butter and honey. That is out of the question as are most things with nuts, sure there are those substitutes, but for our kids, that just won’t always cut it. There are other go to staples, like tuna, egg salad, cold cuts or our go to, cream cheese and jam. At the end of the day these aren’t the most exciting things for kids to eat, and the thought of having the same thing day in and day out is just plain boring. Don’t for one second think that we would ever recommend prepackaged lunch meals filled with salt and preservatives!
Healthy lunch ideas for kids
Here are some interesting ideas that you can pack for your kids that are both delicious and nutritious.
Cut whole-wheat tortilla or pita into chip size pieces (about 8) and bake it in the oven until crispy. Send it along with a container of their favourite dip like hummus, guacamole, black bean dip, or other dip. These dips are high in protein and fibre.
Chilli, soups or stews
Why not have nice hot lunches? We’re not thinking about that this time of year, but who doesn’t like a nice hot bowl of soup for lunch. These can be placed into a thermos that will keep it at the right temperature just in time for lunch. Accompany this with the chips from above or your kid’s favourite whole-wheat crackers.
Rice or pasta
Our boys love brown rice, so you could make their favourite rice dish and store it in a thermos so that it stays warm and ready to eat for lunch. Mix the rice with some shredded chicken or beef, toss in a few diced vegetables and voila. Alternatively take one of your favourite dinner ideas for kids, like left over pasta, toss in the thermos and there you go.
Yes salad, why not. You can give your kids lots of fun topping to put on and they can make it and garnish it just the way they like. Use little containers to keep things separate then they can toss their salad right before they eat it.
Pack all the fixings in individual containers and the meat can be put into the thermos. Your kids will love making their own tacos for lunch. If you are packing sour cream or cheese make sure you keep them cool.
What about smoothies for kids?
Why not pack your kids their favorite smoothie to accompany their lunch? Make your favorite smoothie recipes for kids and pack in a thermos. A handy tip is to cool your thermos before putting in the smoothie; that will keep it cooler for longer.
Try this quick and easy recipe
1 whole frozen banana
½ cup frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen mango
½ cup of liquid (i.e. milk, or milk alternative, freshly squeezed OJ)
Blend until smooth and keep refrigerated.
The importance of a healthy lunch
Most of us have felt it, the 2 o’clock lull. For many of us that is when we go grab our afternoon pick me up, be it a coffee, tea, or snack so that we can make it through the rest of the day. Our kids don’t have that luxury so we have to pack them a lunch and enough food so that they can last the long and tiring day. Energy filled snacks such as dried fruits, seeds, or creative snacks like our chickpea poppers are a great way to satisfy that mid-afternoon snack crave.
Make sure your kids have enough of the right food as this will help them excel in school.
Here’s a great breakfast to supercharge your kids!
Dina is a wife, mother of 4, and adrenaline junky. She loves to share children’s health information from her professional and personal experience. More About Dr Dina.