I was thinking the other day as I was packing my husband’s lunch….if I had a child, I bet they’d go off to school with a similar lunch.
Sliced red pepper, cherry tomatoes (his fave) carrots, or other cut up veggies. Grapes, sliced organic apples, strawberries, or again, any fresh fruit. Applegate Turkey on whole grain or in a wrap, with fresh lettuce, micro greens (another fave) or a grilled cheese. How about that all time favorite, Peanut Butter and Jam. Sorry….I meant jelly, its just that my husband prefers jam or preserves…he’s a bit picky I know! How about something hot in the winter like a bowl of soup.
First off I always make sure Rob gets a healthy breakfast! We all know that it’s the most important meal of the day right! I am convinced I have found the healthiest, tastiest and most importantly, easiest breakfast on the planet! A Protein Packed Smoothie!! The coolest thing about the smoothie is its ideal for kids too! WOOT WOOT. No need to figure out what you’re going to eat after you feed your kiddos. Aren’t you just thrilled. Check this out! YUMMY! HEALTHY and QUICK! What is not to like right!
Just mix 2 scoops of Vanilla Life Energizing Shake Mix, 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or soy milk, 1 cup red grapes frozen, and 2 tsp natural peanut butter.
If you prefer almond butter like me, you can substitute OR make it with Sun-butter for a nut free version. You can also add some fresh spinach…..I promise your kids will never know.
Just blend all ingredients in blender until smooth and enjoy!
In my opinion lunches can be just as simple and healthy.
My husband is on the go at work all day long so his lunch needs to give him tons of energy so he can make it through the afternoon. How about those kiddos….they are growing, busy and active all day long too.
Thanks to some much needed changes, lunches being served in the school’s cafeteria may have improved significantly over the past five years, but nothing beats a healthy, homemade lunch. In fact my husband rarely eats out mostly because he prefers my cooking and its saves us money?.
So when I pack my husband’s lunch, I make sure I fill it with some GOOD stuff. Do the same for your children. Here’s an easy guide I follow which you too may mind helpful:
Sandwiches are king
Sandwiches tend to be the perfect choice for kids of all ages. My husband still loves the childhood staple, peanut butter and (jam) jelly and I bet your kids never get tired of it either. Or you could choose your favorite deli meat with cheese; sandwiches can be packed with protein and other nutrients that your body needs. But this doesn’t mean that your child is stuck eating the same lunch again and again. There are plenty of ways to spice up your sandwich, and also make it as healthy as possible.
A good sandwich always starts with high quality bread. I always purchase sprouted breads or sourdough but some other good choices are whole wheat breads and whole wheat wraps. I would strongly encourage you to stay away from white bread and flour tortillas. The good news is there are plenty of healthy gluten free options too. When shopping, you want to make sure that whichever you choose is low in saturated fats and made with no hydrogenated oils, according to Heart.org.
If you’re looking for more substitutions to make your child’s sandwich more exciting, try cooking the protein yourself! On Sundays most likely you’ll find me roasting a chicken….the meat makes amazing and nutritious sandwiches.
If you’re looking to skip the roasting part, you can always purchase a cooked rotisserie at your local grocery store to save on time. I won’t lie…..I have done this before! More than once. Truth is out! Just make sure it’s free of antibiotics and preferable free range. Your kids will thank you for it?.
Leftover dinners…I always have leftovers!
I mentioned above my husband loves my cooking so I always make extras. After all, I learned a long time ago from my mother, that soup is always better the next day. She was right……Rob always tells me when he comes home from work, “wow that soup was even better toady that last night!”.
So did your kid absolutely love that healthy dinner you made last night? My husband loves leftovers so remember to make extra and serve it again for lunch the next day!
So if you found something that your kiddos really like, remember to make extra, but also remember if you’re planning on packing it for lunch the next day, you may want to set some aside before you sit down for dinner. Sometimes, my husband likes my cooking a bit too much and I end up with no leftovers.
Having a strong, high-quality insulated food jar is really key to expanding your child’s lunch menu. My husband found this on line and he loves it. It keeps his soup, casserole, etc hot for hours. Make sure you heat the leftovers to at least 140 degrees before putting them into the jars, and the meal should stay warm and ready for your child up until lunch time. Soups, chilis and pasta dishes (whole wheat, of course) are always fan-favorites.
Say no to packaged snacks
Every once in a while is ok, but prepackaged snacks can be some of the saltiest, unhealthiest food choices a child, or an adult can make. Rob loves a bag of chips, but even the “healthy” ones labeled organic are processed. Do your best to keep these at minimum. It’s best we don’t have them in the house except for entertaining guests. Less tempting that way.
Even the packaged juices are probably not the best choice! There are plenty of healthier alternatives that just need some extra planning on your part.
I try my best to choose fruits and vegetables as a side dish to go with Rob’s main course. They are always the best go-to when your child is looking for something to go along side that PB & J too! Not only are they packed with vitamins and fiber, but it helps make your child’s lunch much more colorful, which helps keep their lunches more interesting and less boring from a visual perspective. And as the saying goes, you eat with your eyes first, then your mouth. A visually appealing lunch is much more likely to be enjoyed by your child and hopefully my husband.
It is recommended that children have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. A serving size of carrots is approximately 6 baby carrots, or one medium orange, according to kidshealth.org.
Help your student grow into the healthiest and happiest child you can with a nutritious, delicious lunch. Following these guidelines are just steps in the right direction – and don’t forget to ask them what they like, too! After all, they are the ones who are eating the lunch. Often times I’ll ask Rob what he is in the mood for today…a sandwich, soup, etc and yes he’ll often kid with me and say “A BIG FAT JUICY HAMBURGER AND FRIES.” Guess what…..not going to happen?. I keep trying! All kidding aside, overall, Rob doesn’t complain and he thanks me for his lunch almost daily!
If you pack your husband’s lunch or kiddos, I’d love to hear from you. Let me know your favorites!