The first days of school are just around the corner, and one of the challenges that comes with going back to school is packing a healthy lunch for your kids. While it’s tempting to throw a bunch of prepackaged items in a lunch box and send your little one on his or her merry way, the fact is, it’s not that much harder to prepare a more healthy meal for them—and if you look around, some of those prepackaged items come in healthy form. Here are some suggestions for easy, organic lunches that are kid-friendly.
Back to School Healthy Lunches
1. Frozen Fruit Salad
If your child enjoys fruit, an easy thing to make is a frozen fruit salad that will thaw by lunchtime. Take some bagged frozen fruit (favorites in our house include blueberries and strawberries) and mix in a container. By lunchtime the fruit should be thawed and ready to go. My oldest son prefers his with a side of yogurt, and if you throw in some Greek yogurt you get an extra shot of protein.
My son likes to dip things, and it’s very easy to make a “dippable” lunch. You can put some homemade hummus in a small container and include things like celery, baby carrots, and mini pitas to dip in it. You can also buy mini containers of hummus as well, but homemade is a lot cheaper.
3. Easy Sides
For side options, cheese sticks (mozzarella, etc.) are an easy addition to a lunch and provide a good
mixture of calcium and protein. Whole wheat crackers, grapes, baby carrots, and apple slices are also good, easy options.
4. Fruit Smoothies
My best friend’s son has decided to refuse food unless it’s in liquid form, so she’s taken to making him fruit smoothies with some protein powder. She simply uses frozen fruits and adds a scoop of protein powder, and then stores it in a thermos so that her son can just drink it and go.
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5. Healthier Dessert Options
For dessert, while my son always wants a cookie, it’s not always the healthiest. I will give him a cookie here and there (he likes oatmeal ones, which helps!) but also flavored applesauce makes an excellent choice.
What are your tips for keeping back to school lunches healthy?
Image: Clare Bloomfield