A Little Lunchtime Inspiration

Lunches are the bane of my existence, my kids don’t particularly like sandwiches, and I have one with peanut allergies. I find myself having creative blocks trying to figure out something they will eat but still provide them with the energy and nutrients they need. While at school, they are working and playing hard, so good nutrition is vital for better learning and school performance. No one does well after a heavy carb-laden meal, and the last thing you want is to load your kids up with these only to have them become sluggish and crash mid-afternoon.

When creating lunches always try to have ½ of the lunch be veg and fruits, ¼ or more of the lunch protein and if necessary ¼ of it to be some form of carb. Also include fluids; low fat milk and water are ideal. Try to avoid juice boxes, and “sport and vitamin” waters, which are loaded with sugar.

Here are some of our family’s go to lunch options:

Sunbutter and Banana Rolls
Spread sunbutter (or peanut butter or almond butter etc) over a whole-wheat pita,
place a peeled whole banana on one end and roll it up

Salad Wraps
Spread hummus on a whole-wheat pita, add 2-3 Romaine lettuce leaves, julienned cucumber and shredded carrots and wrap up. Or try Amy’s Beet Wrap on Whole Wheat.

Humus and pita chips
Bake your own pita chips by cutting whole-wheat pitas (or other flavors like spinach or tomato) into triangles, brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and bake at 350 until crisp. You can also buy pita chips -just read your labels.

If your child has a super short lunch period, he or she can get everything they need
in a smoothie. Sneak in some veggies and pack it in a Swell bottle so it stays cool. Try our Coconut Kale or Strawberry Banana Yogurt smoothies. Add peanut butter for an extra kick of protein.

This is a great source of protein and can be eaten hot, cold or room temp.

Another source of protein and omega 3s, we use it in wraps, or with pita chips.
You can even buy tuna in individual serving pouches for added convenience

Baked Chickpeas
Rinse and dry canned chickpeas, spread out on a baking sheet, season with your choice of flavor – sweet (cinnamon and sugar, honey or agave) savory – (salt and pepper, cumin, cayenne, chilli powder etc) – make your own creations.

Leftovers are the best. Invest in a good Thermos to use for leftover soups, pasta, or chili
Our One-Pot Pasta with a Protein even tastes good cold.

This happens to be our go-to Friday “treat.”

Dessert Anyone?
It’s ok to add a small treat as long as they are consuming the healthy stuff too. Pack one cookie or one Hershey’s kiss. Or pack something healthy and sweet like Amy’s Protein-Packed Honey Cookies or her Gluten-Free Protein Brownies Cookies. Consider packing a treat other than food, like a little post–it note from you or a small token like a new eraser, pencil or toy.

Others Fruits and Veggies
Use lots of fruits and veggies, washed and cut up for your child’s convenience,
if your child has a short amount of time for lunch. Pack a small cottage cheese with with berries.

Finally, try to get your kids involved – have them choose their lunch box or bag (they have great bento-type boxes now with containers that all fit nicely together). Have your kids help make their lunches, chances are they will feel more invested, and opt to eat it rather than give it to someone else or worse, throw it away.

Click here for further lunch ideas – overlook that it’s for toddlers, older kids will love these too.


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Author: tammyjuco

Motivating and assisting you and your family to a healthier and happier lifestyle.


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