A question I've been getting a lot these days is: "What kind of a lunch can I send to school with my kid(s) that's healthy AND that they'll actually eat?" Parents frustrated with kids coming home only to dump out the sandwich you so carefully assembled, have no fear. You may think snacks are the problem, but I want to encourage you to embrace the snacks! The reality is: a meal CAN be made up of snacks that are built from nutrient rich carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. And I know that you know that your kids love snacks. So let me just jump into some examples to help you get the ball rolling...why not try one of these lunch ideas this week:
Homemade guacamole (squeeze a little lime juice over the top do it doesn't brown) and organic tortilla chips
Cucumber sticks (kids might eat "boring" vegetables if they're cut into sticks!)
An organic cheese stick
A flourless muffin from the batch you make time to whip up over the weekend
Red pepper hummus with veggie dippers: carrot, celery, and cucumber sticks
Whole grain crackers
Chopped mangos and peaches
An organic, low sugar (or fruit juice sweetened) yogurt--Whole Foods has some great options!
A chocolate bar sweetened with beet sugar--try to 100 calorie bar from Trader Joe's!
A high protein, low sugar smoothie you've made and frozen the night before (pour into a drink container, then in the morning, insulate with a towel to absorb moisture as it defrosts to the perfect drinking temp by lunch time!)
Apple and celery slices with peanut butter for dipping
Grain free chips (try bean chips!)
A defrosted whole grain chocolate chip cookie (again, requires that you've made time to whip up a batch over the weekend, but then it's so easy to just grab from the freezer and toss into a lunch bag)
As for beverages, I recommend encouraging your kids to love water by sending a different infuser in their water bottle every day...cucumber slices, mint leaves, berries, orange slices, or lemon slices. If they're very attached to juice, try a sparkling juice beverage that's made with 100% fruit juice and fizzy water. These can be found in most grocery stores. Just read your labels!
The bottom line is: a little prep work over the weekend (both getting the right groceries in the house and making some big batch baked goods or smoothies) will do wonders for you during the week! So happy back to school season to one and all...may your children come home with empty lunch boxes and happy tummies!
*full disclosure, the smoothie idea was not my own (check out this container recommendation in the show notes of a recent episode of Sorta Awesome!)