This week in our 52 Weeks To Wellness we are going to look at How To Make Back To School Lunches Healthy. Not only is this year about our own personal health, but our entire family as well. Healthy kids lead to healthier adults. As a parent teaching our kid about proper nutrition is important. These tips will help them to be satisfied and happy with what you send while you feel good about it in the process.
How To Make Back To School Lunches Healthy
Skip processed junk foods. As a kid you may remember the peanut butter & jelly sandwich on white bread with a baggie of chips, a box of juice and a cookie or pudding. While it may not sound horrible at first, that classic lunch is loaded with sugar and carbohydrates that while give temporary energy don’t truly fuel the body. Stop the easy processed foods and send things like grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, apples or bananas and yogurt with fresh fruit instead. Chips, overly processed breads and luncheon meats as well as processed sugar laden treats are not great fuel for growing kids.
Pack in kid friendly methods. To get your kids to eat healthier items like raw veggies, grilled meats and fresh fruit sometimes you have to make it appear more kid friendly. Dips are a great way to get kids to eat just about anything. Skip traditional Ranch and go with nonfat Greek yogurt you have added seasonings to. A Taziki dip is easy to make and loved by everyone. For fruit mix together nonfat yogurt and honey to crate a sweet dip that is healthy and doesn’t contain loads of sugar. You can also use cookie cutters to make foods in fun shapes, or even cut everything into bite sized portions ahead of time and serve with fun umbrella toothpicks.
Understand what real portions are for kids. Portion control is one of the most important things to consider when trying to make back to school lunches healthy. Remember that what we see in restaurants is often 2-3 times as much as we actually need to fuel our bodies. Research what calorie counts your child should be eating and learn about proper portion sizes. 3 ounces of meat is a portion for most people, not the classic 8-12 ounce we often see advertised. Send your kids with portions their body needs.
Send a variety of nutrient dense foods. Send a variety of foods in their lunches that will appeal to them and provide proper nutrition. Great healthy fruits, vegetables, lean meats, a few crackers or tortillas and the occasional homemade treat.
Make your own “treats”. Instead of sending processed cookies, cakes or candy send things you have made yourself. Things like fresh fruit smoothies, yogurt parfaits or even your own fruit sweetened cakes and cookies or granola are better than the refined sugar overly laden and overly processed store brands.
These tips for how to make back to school lunches healthy are sure to keep you happy and you kids bringing home empty lunch boxes.