10 Tips for Better School Lunches

By | September 19, 2016
Flickr.com

Flickr.com

With the beginning of a new school year many parents stress out trying to prepare a healthy lunches. Here at PostedAd.ca we picked some tips to make it easier.

It can be tough to make sure your kids are eating right during the school year, especially with all the sugary, fatty snacks being marketed towards children these days. In many cases, even the school-prepared lunches aren’t safe, often unpleasant and unhealthy to boot. Making a healthy lunch for your child by yourself can be difficult, but with a little extra work, you can be sure to keep them happy and healthy with delicious snacks that will keep them sharp and ready to learn! 

1. Sandwiches – Mix it Up. Nothing will discourage kids from eating their lunch more than the same old PBJ every single day, leading to a less consistent appetite and less varied diet. Change things up, but always avoid white bread and sugary jams if possible! Wheat bread and natural spreads are far healthier and even have more flavor.

2. Fruit Leather. Fruit roll-ups are a staple of school lunches, but natural fruit leather will always be better and better for you. It’s sweet, full of vitamins, and easy to make; plus, you can use just about any fruit, so you can make lots of different varieties for your kids to enjoy!

3. Salads & Soups. The perfect starter to a healthy lunch, these appetizers aren’t just for restaurants. Using a Tupperware container or thermos, either of these dishes could help your child eat more vegetables, and they’re both easy to make! Make a homemade garden salad and chicken soup in bulk and serve over the course of a few school days, with relatively small portions to be sure they eat all their veggies. 

4. Rice balls. A common staple in Japan, these snacks are a perfect and diverse addition to any lunch for even the pickiest of eaters. Easy to make in the traditional form or just simple little spheres of sticky white rice (no seaweed necessary), you can fill this fun finger food with just about any diced veggies your kids would prefer. 

5. Tortilla Wraps. You can easily and quickly wrap just about any lunch foods (e.g. turkey and lettuce, beans and rice, spinach and ham, etc) into a tortilla and pack it into a school lunch, using leftovers or any nutritious ingredients you can find! With how easy and fast it is to eat, even especially picky kids will likely be happy to find a wrap in place of the usual PBJ or lunch money!

6. Fruit Kebabs. Sticking various small fruits onto a kebab stick like strawberries, cubed melon or pineapple, or even grapes and small berries can make for a fun and refreshing treat, especially during the hotter months. Incredibly easy to make and naturally healthy, they’re a perfect way to sweeten a normally monotonous lunchtime; just be sure to clip off the sharp end of the stick, just in case.

7. Flavored Water. Instead of those artificially flavored, sugary drinks that other parents fill their child’s lunchbox with, you can very easily turn regular water into a treat! Put a slice of their favorite citrus or some frozen berries into their water bottle, and it will naturally flavor the water and keep your kids happy and hydrated.

8. Homemade Trail Mix. This classic snack is a great way to add some more variety and protein to your child’s diet, but it can also be fun to make together! With the help of your kids, you can mix up their favorite treats and put them into little plastic bags, being sure to pad out the chocolate chips or M&Ms with healthier bits like pretzels and peanuts. 

9. Freezie Smoothies. A more delicious and fun snack than tubes of frozen yogurt, these are just as desirable as ice cream without all the sugar and fat! Using either a washable silicone tube or just a Tupperware container and a spoon, you can freeze up a fruit smoothie into a tasty dessert that’ll even double as an ice pack to keep the whole lunch fresh.

10. Just Make it Together. Either the night before or in the morning if your child is an early riser, have them suggest what they might like in their lunch today, and let them help pack it for a personal touch. If they helped, they’ll be more likely to eat it and appreciate the work you do every day to keep them healthy and fed. Besides, spending a little more time with your kids is always a good thing!

With some of these fun little additions to a boring old school lunch, your child is sure to be healthy and happier, and you may even become closer as a result. Remember that health is not a purely physical issue and treats are just as important as nutrients. Add a little sweetness to their day, and your kids will be more ready to learn and grow!

Have you read our article with 8 savings tips for back to school shopping?