Alight friends, I owe you this one… so It’s going to be big because, well that’s what you deserve!
The topic of school lunches for your young ones is a bit of an eye-rolling subject. Everyone (you and them) seems to get sick of turkey sandwiches with carrot sticks and apple slices. So I thought we could revamp together how lunches are made and really consider doing some new things that should be very helpful.
1. People always hate this tip, so I’m just going to start off with it so that we can get through it! If a person is hungry (child or adult), they will eat what they can. Stop giving your children garbage (sugars and nutrient lacking carbohydrates and fats) if you want them to be at all willing to try healthy food. I know this from experience. If you can not feed your child/spouse and processes garbage for 1 week, they will eat what is available by day 3. This is because eventually they will be hungry, and once they try something and realize it isn’t as terrible as they thought it would be, they’ll try it again, and again, and again. Before you know it, they will like it. Look at it as a project for yourself for the entire school year.
2. Carbohydrates are needed, but not in excess. If you feed your kids a lot of carbs at lunch, they will sugar crash within about 2 hours. This will lead to poor learning near the end of the day and sugar cravings after school.
3. Protein fills you up AND keeps you full. Which is extremely important for learning and development. What most people forget is how versatile protein is and in how many forms it comes in.
4. Fruits and Vegetables are easy to pack, easy to eat and easy to keep fresh for a few hours. My personal preference is making your lunch 60% fruits and vegetables. The main reason is that they contain the perfect type of carbohydrates for sugar stabilization.
5. Mix things up… just like you don’t want to eat the same thing everyday for lunch, neither does your kid!
6. Left overs are a wonderful thing to use for lunches. Try to re-use your left overs at least once a week. Over time they will become your best friend and eventually, if you are anything like me, you will just make double your dinner and use it for lunches.
7. All kids are picky eaters, stop saying it in front of your kids and they wont realize (because you’ll stop telling them) it and eventually be more willing to try new foods.
So let’s break it down by category…
Lunch meat… sandwiched in bread or vegetables.
Tuna, Chicken and Egg in salad form with crackers.
Soups, cold or hot.
Vegetables and Fruits
Cheese and other dairy
Oils in Nuts, Salads and Soups
If nothing else, just try to make sure that you can find in your childs lunch protein, healthy fats and good quality carbohydrates.