Rachel’s Back to School Healthy Lunch Box Tips #wellbeingwednesday
How is it that we are planning back to school already? I have many parents sending little ones to school for the first time, and need healthy lunch ideas. For today’s Wellbeing Wednesday Tip, I am sharing with you lunch box tips that should bring your children’s bags home empty instead of barley eaten.
Mix it up! Children love a bento style lunch box. They are easy to put together, have lots of variety, are nutrient dense, and keep kids eating throughout the day. Cut up fruit and veggies, add a bean dip, a handful of chickpeas or black beans, hard boiled egg, leftover chicken or pasta, crackers, some pumpkin seeds or dried fruit. Really anything goes. 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.
Heat it up! If you don’t have a thermos, I really recommend you get 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. When the temperatures change, a hot lunch is a nice way to fill up little tummies.
Sweet it up! I like to add a special treat once in a while. A few squares of dark chocolate, a handful of cookies, or a mini-muffin. 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, Whole Foods or The Big Carrot 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. We love Kids Konserve, Lunchbots, Colibri, Dalcini, Swell and Kleen Kanteen. You will be teaching your kids to protect the environment and those pretty containers are sure to get them to eat their healthy lunch.
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. Having them make their own lunch will inspire them to eat it! Just think, if they get good enough at it, they just might start packing your lunch! Now that’s something to look forward too.
I hope you enjoy these healthy lunch box tips. Good luck with the Back to School transition. Have a great week!
RACHEL SCHWARTZMAN is a naturopathic doctor in the St. Clair West neighbourhood. She is the co-owner of West End Naturopathic Doulas, a naturopathic collective that supports pregnant women and partners with the birth of their babies. Westenddoulas.com