Aside from breakfast, your child’s lunch is the best way to keep them fueled for a day of learning and playing. PB&J’s are a staple of many lunches, but there are a number of other great options for all appetites and favorites.
We believe all kids are uniquely smart, which is why we believe nutrition is the key to keep them growing and thriving. Here’s what you need to know to build a delicious, filling lunch for your smart kids.
MAKE-YOUR-OWN LUNCHABLE KITS
We love the do-it-yourself nature of Lunchables, but let’s face it, the ingredients aren’t always the best. Instead, make your own kits with pita bread, cheese, tomato sauce, veggies, and nitrate-free pepperoni.
Your kids will love customizing their pita pizza, and you’ll love the healthy food and quick preparation.
Not all leftovers are created equal when packing your kids’ lunch box, but hear us out. Dinners with pulled pork or another roasted meat taste good cold, and pair well with veggies. Add whole grain bread or some seed crackers to complete the meal.
This is also an ideal way to minimize food waste in your family!
CHICKEN QUESADILLAS (VEGETARIAN OPTION)
A chicken quesadilla is another ideal school lunch option, and it doesn’t need to be warm for your kids to enjoy it! Cook a few at once while food prepping, and refrigerate once cool. Then add some veggies and fruit to the side and salsa for dipping.
In addition to chicken and cheese you can add chopped peppers, if your kids’ taste buds allow. We want them to expand their palettes, but we also want to make sure they eat everything at lunch.
For a vegetarian option, substitute the chicken for beans. It will still keep your kids full and energized to study and play until they get home.
ENGLISH MUFFIN SANDWICHES
Mix up the boring standby with English muffins sandwiches. The round shape is something different, and nooks and crannies are great for a spread like organic mustard, or even leftover low-sugar cranberry sauce for a Thanksgiving-inspired roasted turkey sandwich.
For a tea time inspired sandwich, spread cream cheese on each half of a whole grain English muffin and fill with roasted chicken and cucumbers. Add a side of grapes and celery for a well rounded meal.
END WITH SOMETHING SWEET
Of course, no lunch is complete without a bit of a treat. Dessert could be anything from a small black bean brownie or part of a mango and some kiwi. Fruit is an ideal dessert with its sweet ending but without the added sugar or artificial flavors of pre-packaged snacks.
School lunches don’t need to be boring, and they can definitely be both healthy and fun. (Yep, we said it!) Add these school lunch ideas into the rotation for your kids, and we bet those lunch boxes will come home empty more often than not.
The key is to make eating healthy fun; you don’t need to hide the veggies! For more ideas on how to raise smart, healthy kids, check out the rest of our blog.