Sending little Tommy and Sally off to school can be bittersweet for parents. It marks the end of summer vacations and the beginning of homework. If your kids are taking their lunch to school, help them pack healthy food that will keep them healthy and functional all day long.
Here are some lunch ideas for your little ones:
1. Whole wheat bread or wrap with lean meats like turkey or chicken. Throw in some leafy stuff and a tomato, with a healthy homemade salad dressing.
2. Pasta salad - If your kids are highly athletic after school, they'll need some healthy carbs. Go pick up some whole wheat pasta and finely chop some color vegetables like bell peppers and celery with a homemade dressing. Skip the chips. Those freshly cut vegetables will give them the crunch they will look forward to.
3. Fruit salad - chop up bananas, apples, strawberries, pineapples, and grapes and throw it all together. This is a great substitute for dessert.
4. Hummus - You can experiment with flavors of hummus if you have any picky eaters. Tons of options are available and is fun to eat when you cut up some pita into different shapes or use vegetables for dippers.
5. Smoothie - This might be a new kid favorite. I notice a large group of kids in smoothie shops all summer long. Create your own version at home and you've got a great addition to your school lunches for 2-3 days.
6. Dried fruit and nuts - The options are endless if you go to any good grocery store. This could also be great afternoon snack when the kids get home. Maybe it will even motivate them to do their homework?
Too optimistic? Have fun with school lunches and let your kids help prep their meals so they can develop healthy habits that will go beyond the 12th grade.