Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

It's a daily chore, and one that's easy to get lazy with: packing your kid's lunch. Rather than viewing this as a monotonous task that results in a bored, nutritionally unsatisfied child, get creative! Healthy lunch ideas can be fun, tasty, and are limitless once you commit yourself to branching out and having fun with it.

Compartmentalized Trays

Ditch the ziplock sandwich, bag of chips and Twinkie dessert. Go to Walmart and invest in some tupperware that has compartmentalized sections, and go to town with your child's favorite healthy foods that include the nutrients you know he or she needs. Some ideas?

Protein

Many times kids don't want bread anyway, they'd prefer the meat on it. Take a serving of deli sliced turkey or chicken and shred it up into bite size pieces for your child to snack on. Another alternative is to prepare meat in advance at the start of the week, such a chicken, and to plop a serving of it in the container every night for the next day's meal.

Veggies and Dip

Chips and dip can be swapped out for veggies and dip. Dip can be made from nonfat Greek yogurt and a package of seasoning, and use veggies your child likes, for example carrots or broccoli or heirloom tomatoes.

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

Fruit

Your child will need some carbs to get through the rest of the school day, and what better way for him to get them by eating apple slices? Make it even more of a treat by plopping in a dollop of peanut butter for him to dip the apple in. It's a sweet treat, and the added protein is always a benefit.

Sweets

Don't skip out on the sweets! Find some dark chocolate or healthy alternative and throw it in the lunch container as a highlight to finish the tasty and nutritious lunch.

Healthy Fats

Everyone should be consuming an appropriate amount of healthy fats, but children especially need these fats as they're growing. A half a slice of avocado or a handful of almonds would be a perfect way to incorporate these healthy fats, and can be swapped in for one of the other previously listed foods to provide variety during the week.

Dairy

What child doesn't like cheese? And seeing that cheese provides a good amount of calcium, why withhold it from your child? Cheese cubes are another good swapping option for a few days a week, and will surely keep your child happy.

Leftovers

Don't overlook leftovers, especially if last night's dinner was a favorite of your child! If you had fajitas, incorporate some of that left over chicken. If you had turkey spaghetti, send along some sauce along with some whole grain noodles or Italian bread for dipping.

Lunches don't have to be boring or unhealthy! Send along leftovers, or fill compartmentalized trays with nutritional options that will keep your kid happy and healthy.

[image]