Let the kids help plan their lunches for the week.
Choose lean meats such as chicken breast, lean ham or roast beef, instead of salami or bacon.
Breakfast for lunch? Make pancakes and freeze the leftovers. You can warm them up and pack them up for a fun lunch. Scrambled eggs or a sliced boiled egg can be a hit too (remember the ice pack though).
Healthy lunches have at least 3-4 of the food groups that means including fruits and vegetables.
Leave your child a fun healthy note in their lunch box.
Some kids don’t like peanut butter but will enjoy cashew or almond butter as a spread. (Meatless)
Your child’s lunch could include perishable items (sandwiches, fresh fruit) and shelf-stable items (packaged pudding). Use an insulated lunch box, with an insulated bottle for hot foods or a frozen gel pack or a frozen juice box to keep foods cold.
Sliced mango, kiwi, or apples are a good snack (use orange juice to help prevent browning) (Meatless)
Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home.
When packing egg or meat sandwiches for school lunches, include an ice pack to ensure these items stay cold.
Next time you make a sandwich for your child’s lunch, switch from regular mayonnaise to low fat or fat-free.
Use leftovers for school lunch. If your child ate the beef stew last night for dinner, serve it up for lunch (place an ice pack in the lunch box though to prevent food illness).
With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat.
Cube cheese and offer it on a toothpick. (Meatless)
Offer half of a sweet potato with a sprinkle of brown sugar or even slice it into circular shapes, Take advantage of tropical fruits such as mango slices or kiwi (easy to scoop out with a spoon). (Meatless)
Vanilla yogurt with raspberries and granola or nuts on top (place it in a small plastic container (use an ice pack to keep it cold) (Meatless)
Pasta: Use mini-penne or bowtie pasta. Just throw on some pasta sauce. If you make it the night before, add a tsp of olive oil to prevent sticking. (Meatless)
Use these thin, curly noodles and serve with peanut sauce or just plain. During winter months, use a thermos to serve up warm noodles (boil them in vegetable broth and use about 1/3 of the liquid for added flavor). (Meatless)