I am going to be the first to admit that I hate packing lunches. Due to the fact that I am big advocate of healthy eating, school lunches are not an option. However, packing lunches can be such a pain! My daughter will eat just about anything, but my son is a whole different story. I want to make sure both my children get healthy school lunches, so sometimes I have to get a bit creative. There are still days when my son does not even touch his lunch, but we are making progress. Thankfully, I have found some tips that have made packing lunches much more enjoyable.
GET THE KIDS INVOLVED
We have a few cookbooks that I let the kids look through to plan their weekly meals. My daughter is much more into the practice than my son, but he has tried a few things. By getting the kids involved in the planning process, they are more likely to try something new. My daughter also gets involved when it comes to packing her lunch. She is pretty good about picking healthy meal options. She is also learning to use knives and has fun slicing her own apples.
HAVE A ROTATING MENU
Simplicity is the name of the game! Just like our weeknight meals, we try to keep our lunches pretty simply. However, variety is nice as well. My son would eat the same thing every single day, but my daughter has a more advanced taste buds.
Leftovers make packing lunches so much easier. I like to make a big batch of soups and stews to have for lunch throughout the week. We also utilize the leftovers from Taco Tuesday to make quesadillas or build your own tacos. I try to plan at least one or two meals at dinner that will have leftovers that we can use throughout the week. We are a big fan of chicken salad and like to use leftover chicken to make up a batch.
MAKE YOUR OWN SNACKS
My kiddos love their treats, just like any other kid. However, I am not a fan of processed sugars and all of the fake ingredients that are in the convenience foods today. I like to get the kids in the kitchen to make their own snacks. One of our all-time favorites is granola. You can just put in a container to be eaten plain or add yogurt and use the granola as a fun topping.
GET AN AWESOME LUNCH BOX
I recently came across a new company called FlexiFreeze that I am so excited to share with you! We are all about cleaner living and absolutely love that this company is using water to keep things cool versus a host of chemicals. I was never a fan of the blue goo, but I needed a way to keep the kids lunches cool. We live in Florida afterall!
We put the lunch coolers to the test and were thrilled with the results. The cooler has a built in zip off lid that you put in the freezer the night before. My son was easily able to take the lid off and on, which is an added bonus. According to him, his food was still cold and fresh at lunch.
By Diane Foss