Gearing up for back to school with books and supplies also means coming up with great ideas for packing lunches. While most consider breakfast to be the most important meal of the day, lunch is equally important when it comes to children’s health and learning. Healthy lunches make you feel good as a parent as well as sets healthy eating habits for life.
Sandwiches are the most traditional lunch meal. The varieties are endless which keeps children from becoming bored with their meals. You can use different types of meats and breads to add variety. Peanut Butter and Jelly also tastes great on whole wheat or multi-grain breads. Try a vegetarian sandwich by using whole wheat pita stuffed with hummus, lettuce, tomatoes and sprouts. Have your children help decide what goes in the lunch box. Kids are more likely to eat it if they helped to prepare it. If you are sending your child to school with a meat sandwich, such as turkey or ham, be sure to use an insulated lunch box. Add orange juice as a delicious drink.
Soup and salad can make for a delicious change of lunch menu and will be very nutritious for your child. Use a good thermos for the soup to keep it hot. How about chicken noodle soup with a garden salad topped with diced cheese, some whole grain crackers and canned fruit packed in juice? Salads can include fruit toppings such as blueberries, strawberries, or peach slices for a change of pace. Add walnuts, almond slices, pecans or chow mien noddles for little bit of crunch. You can also try a cold pasta salad to mix it up.
Leftovers also make healthy lunches for your kids. Most leftovers can be eaten cold. But if leftovers need to eaten hot, be sure to use the right type of container to keep it at the right temperature until lunch time. Try packing some leftover chicken with a side of vegetables and starch. Add some fruit to round out the meal. You can also pack some leftover take out, such as a slice of pizza with a small salad and some grapes.
Breakfast for lunch is a great way to change it up a bit and makes it fun for your child. Try a simple healthy breakfast-lunch meal like a bowl of your child’s favorite cereal. Add a banana and a thermos of cold milk. Or, maybe a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, orange slices, and a cup of yogurt. Whole wheat blueberry pancakes or waffles with syrup, a side of strawberries, and a cold thermos of milk to drink is just another great breakfast for lunch. Worried about keeping the milk cold? Have your child by the milk at school.
These are just a few ways to send your child or children back to school with some great healthy lunches that will give them the energy for the afternoon and healthy eating habits that will continue through life.
Brunswick Crossing is gearing up for back to school. The Brunswick Elementary, Middle and High school are part of Frederick County Public Schools and are less than two miles from our community. Visit us to see why we are Frederick County’s most dynamic planned community!