Taking the Stress Out of Preparing Your Kids Lunch for School!


With the summer coming to a close, and as school begins, it’s time to get back into the routine of preparing lunches for your kids. Yes, just one more thing to add to the already long list of things to do! You also might be asking yourself, what should I be packing for my kids and what will they actually eat? Well you’re not alone. Planning and preparing lunches for kids can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be!

Here are some tips and suggestions to make packing healthy lunches easy and enjoyable!

1. Creating a Balanced Lunch Box

The goal with any meal or snack is to pack a variety of foods that are both nutritious and taste good. Each meal should contain a source of protein, carbohydrate and fat and have at least four different foods.

Here is a good list to help you plan meals. Pick one from each category below to create a balanced meal.

Protein

Hard Boiled Egg

Nitrate-Free Deli Meat

Cooked Turkey or Chicken, cubed

Cooked Ground Meat

Nut or Seed Butter

Chicken, Egg or Tuna Salad

Cheese

Yogurt

Cottage Cheese

Hummus

Carbohydrate/Starch

Whole Wheat Bread, Pita, Tortilla/Wrap

Whole Wheat Waffle

Cooked Sweet Potato, Potato or Squash

Brown Rice

Quinoa

Whole Wheat Pasta

Cooked Corn, Peas

Whole Wheat Crackers

Tortillas

Fruit (Fresh, Frozen, Canned)

Banana

Clementine

Berries

Apple slices (applesauce)

Pear

Peach

Grapes (cut in half lengthwise if under 4)

Kiwi

Melon (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe)

Mango

Papaya

Vegetable (Fresh, Frozen, Canned)

Shredded or Baby Carrots

Cucumber Sticks

Bell Peppers

Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half length wise if under 4)

Cooked Broccoli, Cauliflower, Green Beans, Beets

Snap Peas

Zucchini/Summer Squash

Salad Greens

Vegetable Soup

Fat

Fat is important for absorbing fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K; growth and development in toddlers; and keeping kids full. Make sure to include at least one source of fat at meals.

Whole milk dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese)

Avocado

Oil

Olives

Nut and Seed Butters

Cream Cheese

Butter

Egg yolks

Fatty fish (salmon and tuna)

Fatty cuts of meat

2. Get the Kids Involved

The more the kids are involved in planning or preparing their lunch the less work it is on you and the more likely they will actually eat what’s in their lunchbox!