Back to school season brings with it the age old dilemma of how to make easy, quick, appetizing lunches that the kids will actually eat. If you want those meals to be healthy and nutritious, now you have a real challenge.I'm here to tell you that packing nutrient dense meals and snacks for your family doesn't have to be time-consuming, scientific, expensive, or frustrating. It's absolutely possible to get the pickiest of eaters to eat a healthy lunch.
Here are some of my best tips for packing superfood meals to-go that won't get traded for Ding-Dongs!
1. Ditch the paper bags
One of the biggest challenges to packing fresh, nutritious food is the need for it to be kept cold. Lucky for us, we live in the times of insulated bags and freezer blocks. Using these items eliminates the worry over spoilage and being limited to pre-packaged cookies and chips.
2. Hack the morning rush
Why wait till the morning alarm goes off to start thinking about what to eat for breakfast or what to pack for lunch? The easiest and most efficient thing to do is to incorporate those meals into your evening meal prep. Just think ahead when cooking dinner and make extra for leftovers. Prep your veggies, fruits, snacks etc and package everything up so it's ready to go. Clean the kitchen once and done.
3. Enlist backup
Kids love to be included in choosing and preparing their own food. Not only does it give them a sense of control over what they eat but it also instills a sense of responsibility over this very important aspect of their lives.
4. Make it yummy
Carrot sticks are great but carrot sticks with a delicious dip will actually be eaten. Plain old beans are one thing, but spicy bean dip with organic chips is a treat. You get the idea.
5. Make it fun
Cute lunch bags, cute containers and cute cut-out shapes all go a long way in making lunch time more enjoyable.
Healthy snacks are important! When well-nourished, everyone feels satisfied and much less tempted to reach for “empty calorie” snacks. Healthy snacks and lunches are the best way to keep both children and adults full of energy, focus, and stamina throughout the day.
Check out a few of my favorite recipes for packable, portable meals and snacks beyond plain, boring sandwiches.
Gourmet Tuna Salad
Chia "Tapioca" Pudding
Energy To-Go Bars
Easy Bean Dip
Lentil Quinoa Salad
Roasted Cauliflower Hummus