Fun, healthy ways to mix up school lunches
posted by: Guest Blogger
It’s Monday morning and you’re standing in front of an open fridge with a cup ‘o joe and a blank stare. What to make the kids for lunch is your number one priority, but who has time or energy to conjure up inspired meals at a moment’s notice? You grab what you know, prepare and bag it, and send your kids on their way.
This is definitely a common scenario in today’s world but let’s take a moment to realize the opportunity we have at this time to make some changes. According to the CDC, obesity now affects 17% of all children and adolescents in the United States – that’s triple the rate from just one generation ago. Even if your children do not fall within the obesity category, this statistic is an indication of the environment and society that our children are growing up in and it’s our responsibility to guide our children to make healthier decisions.
However a complete overhaul isn’t necessary to make a difference. It’s the small daily changes that add up to make an impact. Check out our 5 Days of Kid-Friendly Lunches and incorporate a few of these extra tips to mix-up the school lunch routine and help your kids become excited about healthy foods. It may just be the ticket for a healthier and happier future for our next generation.
Find what works, and work around that – Do your kids have a favorite bread, cracker, fruit etc.? This is a perfect way to subtly introduce new whole foods because they’re already excited about eating their favorite item. If your kids love those yummy yellow fish-shaped crackers, incorporate them into a trail-mix of delicious nuts and seeds. If fruit-strips are a mainstay, try cutting them up so they can add to their favorite coconut milk yogurt. Make a list of five items that your kids just can’t get enough of and incorporate healthy options to pair with them.
- Same sandwich, different look – If you’re like most busy moms, you have a go-to sandwich that you make every week. You could always check out these tips on how to Build a Healthier Sandwich, but there’s no need to completely change the ingredients. Take your go-to sandwich and prepare it in a different way. I love rolling a sandwich up and cutting it into pieces just like sushi or try out these fantastic Club Sandwich Kabobs.
- Mixup old time favorites – Make a Veggie Lasagna in muffin tins for an easy lunchbox addition or try a Fancy Ants-On-A-Log recipe to changeup your routine without a lot of thought. Want more ideas? Check out these Kid-Friendly Recipes to keep the kids engaged and wanting more delicious nutrient dense foods. Cheers to a bright future for our healthy and happy kiddos!
Guest blogger Julie Magnussen works as a Healthy Eating Specialist at Whole Foods Market Cherry Creek, Julie thrives on challenging herself to create deliciously nutritious recipes focusing on plant-based ingredients that nourish the body and deliver clean energy.