Healthy Lunches for Kids
By Donna Stark
Stuck at home with your kids? Are you running out of ideas for all of the lunches you now have to make? If your kids are like mine, they are probably trying to convince you that a bowl of sugary cereal is a great option for their lunch, and if you are like me, you are probably tired of shooting that idea down every time they bring it up. Fortunately, there is a way to make everyone happy. You just have to come up with nutritious lunch ideas that are kid-friendly and sure to win everyone's approval from the moment they hit the table. Need some help with that? Just keep reading!
Healthy Lunches for Kids
It's important to remember that your children are tiny versions of yourself, so if you don't like to eat the same thing over and over again, your kids probably won't like to do that either. It's no wonder that when they see a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a side of carrot sticks on their plate ... again ... their smiles fade and their noses scrunch up. They want variety as much as you, so why don't you go ahead and give them a delicious surprise? It's easy when you focus on the following categories.
- Protein - Protein is an important building block of bones and muscles, and is also a great source of energy. You can incorporate protein in your child's lunch by adding some deli meat, string cheese, hard-boiled eggs, nuts, or hummus.
- Whole grains - Choosing whole-grain bread over white is an excellent way to add more vitamins and nutrients into your child's diet. You can also choose several other whole-grain options too, such as tortillas, rolls, pita, crackers, and muffins.
- Dairy - Adding a dairy item in your child's lunch will help to increase their Vitamin D and calcium intake. Choose from options such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. Just be sure to watch the sugar content in some of these choices.
- Fruit and vegetables - Incorporating more fruit and vegetables into your child's diet is always a good idea and luckily for us all, most are really easy to wash and prep at the beginning of the week. Try stocking your kitchen with bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, carrot sticks, and sugar snap peas as well as plenty of berries, bananas, melon, citrus, apples, and pears.
Remember, variety is the spice of life, so start thinking about different ideas for your children's lunches. By offering healthy, fun alternatives to their normal, boring routine, you may even get your children running to the kitchen instead of away from it.
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