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Healthy Lunches
By: Amanda Li, Registered Dietitian

It’s that time of year again! After two months of fun in the sun, it’s time for the kids to get back to reality! With this comes the dreaded task of packing lunches, day in and day out. For most parents, the struggle is real and it’s frustrating when your child’s lunch comes back half eaten.

So what can you do? I would involve your child! Whether they help come up with lunch ideas or they actually help put the lunch together, having your child involved in the process is important so that they will want to eat what they bring to school. You’ll often find out interesting reasons as to why they leave certain foods uneaten, such as that perfect red delicious apple. Maybe they would find it easier to eat if it was cut in quarters – a very simple solution!

 

 

Lunch Prep

 

 

To help get you started, here are 5 steps to help you create an A+ lunchbox your kids will love:

Step 1: Select a vegetable and dip

Veggie Options:
– Cucumber Rounds
– Celery Sticks
– Cauliflower/ Broccoli Trees
– Sweet Bell Pepper Strips
– Sugar Snap Peas
– Carrot Sticks
– Grape Tomatoes
– Radish Rounds
– Asparagus Crudité

Dip Options:
– Hummus
– Guacamole
– Ranch
– Baba Ganoush
– Spinach Dip

Step 2: Add some protein

– Chicken Tenders (try out this kid-friendly Coconut Chicken Tender Recipe)
– Turkey Meatballs
– Tuna Salad
– Chickpeas
– Edamame
– Hardboiled Eggs
– Baked Tofu Strips
– Cottage Cheese Cups
– Yogurt
– Sunflower Seed Butter
– Chia pudding

Step 3: Choose a grain

– English muffin
– Tortilla
– Pasta
– Rice
– Granola/Cereal
– Crackers
– Popcorn
– Sandwich Bread

Step 4: Pick a fruit

– Grapes
– Clementine
– Mini banana
– Berries
– Melon chunks
– Dried unsulphured apricots, dates, or figs
– Raisins
– Apple chips

Step 5: Decide on a source of hydration

– Water
– Milk
– Soy milk
– Coconut water
– Vegetable juice

Breaking it down in steps helps to make packing easier! A well-balanced lunch also ensures your child is getting the nutrients he / she needs to thrive throughout the school day.

Happy Packing!
Amanda

 

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