Back to school also means back to the grind of packing lunches for many parents.
Whether you’re packing food daily or you only need the occasional lunch or snack idea, kickstart your school year on a healthy note with these tips for packing wholesome lunches and snacks your little scholars will love.
Get Buy-in from the Start
Make packing lunches a fun and engaging activity by involving your kids in the process. Sit down together and plan out the week’s meals, incorporating their favorite foods and healthy options. When children have a say in what they eat, they’re more likely to enjoy their meals and embrace healthy choices.
Prep on Sundays
Spend some time over the weekend preparing easy options for the school week. Pre-cut veggies, portioned snacks and pre-assembled salads can save you time during busy mornings. When healthy choices are readily available, you’ll feel good about what’s in the lunch box and snack bag. The more you can do in advance the easier the week will go.
Taste the Rainbow
Add a burst of color and nutrition to your child’s lunchbox with a variety of vibrant veggies and fruits. From crunchy carrots and bell peppers to juicy strawberries and blueberries, packing a rainbow of colors ensures kids get a range of essential vitamins and minerals.
Think Beyond Meat for Protein
Expand your protein options beyond the usual deli meats by including boiled eggs in your child’s lunch. Eggs are a protein-rich, easy-to-pack choice that provide essential nutrients for sustained energy throughout the school day. Nuts, Greek yogurt, low-fat cheese and tofu cubes are also tasty protein-rich choices that can be kid-friendly and easy to pack.
Opt for Whole Grains
Choose whole-grain wraps, bread and crackers for a boost of flavor and fiber. Choose options with shorter ingredient lists. Whole grains provide longer-lasting energy and help keep hunger at bay, supporting focus and concentration in the classroom.
Limit Ultra-Processed Foods
Swap out ultra-processed snacks for less-refined alternatives when possible. Packaged snacks can be high in added sugars, sodium and unhealthy fats, while whole-food options like nuts, seeds and fruit pack a bigger nutrition punch while still offering grab-and-go convenience.
Start fresh this semester with healthy eating habits that will keep your kids thriving all year long!