While some are already back to school we here in the Philadelphia area are digging our heels in. School begins for some next week and others after labor day so the preparation has begun. Parents scrambling to pick up last minute supplies and new clothes for the kiddos. One thing I stress over each year is how I can keep my boys healthy throughout the school day. Each year the kids taste buds change and what they liked to eat for lunch the previous year may not apply the following school year. Here are my top 5 back to school lunch haves that will meet approval of the kids and parents.
TOP 5 BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH MUST HAVES
HEALTHY WHOLE GRAINS & PROTEINS: Providing proteins and healthy carbohydrates will give your child the energy they need throughout the day. Make sure you choose whole grains instead of refined grains when purchasing foods. Add good protein such as turkey, cheese, beans, peanut butter or eggs. A typical lunch for my son is whole grain crackers, a few slices of turkey, cheese stick, hummus, carrots and a hard boiled egg. He can even make it himself…bonus!
FRUIT & VEGGIES: These may not be the first on the list that the kiddos want but if you make them a part of it and ask them to choose what fruit and veggies they want the kids are more apt to eat them. Kids love dips so if fruits and veggies aren’t their favorites then serve with a fruit or veggie dip. We love this greek yogurt dip made with Justin’s honey peanut butter packs. All you need is a 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1 15oz pack of Justin’s honey peanut butter spread, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Mix everything together and serve with your favorite fruit.
HEALTHY SNACKS: Kids might leave the sandwich but they always eat the snacks. We just need to make sure they are healthy ones that they love. Justin’s just introduced these new snack packs that are to dye for. They come in many varieties to suit all taste buds and it’s a perfect treat made organically with no artificial ingredients and just 200-210 calories per pack.
DRINK HEALTHY: I am a firm believer in water is best motto. Children ages 5-8 years old need to drink 1 liter of water a day to stay hydrated throughout the day. Have the kids pick out their favorite BPA FREE water bottle that they can use daily for school lunches and also after school activities.
Now that you have all those healthy tasty foods you need something to it all in. I don’t know about you but my boys are constantly loosing ice packs. I think I buy a dozen each school year. Well, I’ve finally found a solution. PackIt designed the most adorable lunch boxes that are all-in-one coolers that chill food and drinks up to 10 hours. They come in a variety of sizes that fold up for compact storage in your freezer.
Whatever choices you make when setting up your child’s lunch the key thing you need to remember is to make your child apart of the process. From choosing what goes into the lunch box to even helping make the lunches. Trust me, it will make your life a lot easier for you and your child.