There is a wealth of information available about the importance of good nutrition in brain functioning. Growing kids, in particular, need to have a balance of complex carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats and of course, all the vitamins and minerals their little body needs.
The good news is that kids that bring their own lunches and snacks to school don’t have to end up with the same old thing every day. There are a lot of simple, quick, and easy ways to make really interesting, tasty and healthy foods your kids will love.
One of the best things to invest in is an insulated lunch bag. These will be very helpful in keeping cold foods cool, especially when paired with an ice-pack. By placing the ice-pack in a zip-lock bag, you can prevent any problems with leaks and still keep fresh fruits, vegetables, dips, cheeses and meats at the right temperature.
Healthy Lunches and Snacks
For some healthy yet simple to make lunch options besides traditional sandwiches consider the following:
• Turkey or chicken or cheese wraps using lettuce, thin strips of red or yellow peppers, and a bit of salsa rather than mayonnaise.
• Pasta salad with mixed vegetables, cheese, diced hard boiled eggs or even diced ham. Use an Italian dressing for something different or a ranch dressing for a more traditional taste.
• Whole grain crackers with cheese, meat and your kid’s favorite pickles. Each can be packaged separately, and the child can make his or her own “stackers” for some fun finger food.
• Fresh cut vegetables with a dip made of ranch dressing or plain yogurt with fresh or dried herbs. Try some unique vegetable options such as colored bell peppers, purple or orange cauliflower, fennel and sugar peas for variety.
• Cube up fresh fruit and provide a creamy dip. This can be made with vanilla yogurt or any other flavor your child enjoys. Remember, fruit and vegetables should be paired with a protein for energy.
• Homemade trail mix can include dried fruits, berries and nuts depending on your child’s preferences and what the school allows.
• Mini-pretzels with a side of salsa for dipping are a great snack and healthier that chips or sugary treats.
Be sure to check with the school regarding any issues with children having peanuts or other types of nuts or foods in the school. Providing a good selection of different items for the child in the lunch is always a good option, as is having your child help you in choosing what they would like to have.