Healthy Lunch Box Tips By Rachel Schwartzman #WellBeingWedensday
It seems as though we survived the first week of back to school. I have many parents asking me about what to make their kids for lunch, as they are quickly running out of ideas. So, for today’s Wellbeing Wednesday Tip, I am sharing with you healthy lunch box tips that should bring their bags home empty instead of barley eaten.
Mix it up! Grab a bento style lunch box and make a nutrient dense snack-able lunch. Cut up fruit and veggies, add a bean dip, a handful of chickpeas, hard boiled egg, leftover chicken or pasta, and some pumpkin seeds or dried fruit. Assembling a bento box style lunch can be fun, nutritious and you can introduce new items in small quantities.
Roll it up! Whether you use a pita, laffa, roti, tortilla, or seaweed paper, kids love rolled up food. Add nitrite-free turkey slices, chopped avocado, beans, chicken, cucumbers, sprouts, hummus, tuna, egg, or cheese. You can basically add anything to a wrap, slice em’ up and watch them disappear.
Cut it up! Adding lot of fruits and vegetables to a lunch box ensures your children are getting nutrient dense foods rich in vitamins and minerals, essential for learning and focus. Fresh produce is also water dense, helping to keep your children hydrated as they often can forget to drink water at school.
Heat it up! If you don’t have a thermos, I really recommend you pick up one. Leftovers can be quickly heated up in the morning, put into a thermos and a healthy lunch is made. Soups, stews, stir-frys, pastas can all be loaded with veggies, lentils, and lean proteins.
Sweet it up! I like to add a special treat on Fridays. It gives the kids something to look forward to and it’s a little surprise for them after a busy week. A few squares of dark chocolate, a handful of cookies, or a small container of potato chips. Just remember to avoid processed treats, or those with chemical food dyes. Try out your local health food grocery stores such as; Fiesta Farms, Noah’s Natural Foods or Evergreen for a wide variety of kid-approved snacks that can be bought packaged or in bulk.
Green it up! Forget disposable bags that get tossed after one use and pick up some eco-friendly containers. You will be teaching your kids to protect the environment and those pretty containers are sure to get them to eat their healthy lunch. Check out eco-friendly store such as Ecoexistence, Logan and Finley and This Little Piggy for a wide selection to choose from.
Kid it up! We often are rushing trying to get so many things done. There is a lot of research on the benefits of getting kids to help out in the kitchen. Getting them to make their own lunch will translate to them eating it. Just think, if they get good enough at it, they just might start packing yours. Now that’s something to look forward too.
I hope you enjoy these healthy lunch box tips. Check back next week when I discuss natural ways to support learning and focus for our little (and big!) ones. Have a great week.
Rachel Schwartzman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor, Doula and Acupuncturist. She practices in Toronto and can be reached at 416-371-3422. To learn more about Dr. Rachel take a peek at rachelschwartzman.com