Photo courtesy of KDFW-TV Good Day Dallas.
You’re up, out of bed, scrambling eggs for your kids, making sure they’ve got their homework, everyone is dressed, and…now it’s time to pack those lunches.
What will it be today? PB and J?
“Dad! We had that yesterday!”
For moms and dads who need help adding some Zing to your child’s lunch box, take a moment to gain ideas from Registered Dietitian Meridan Zerner from KDFW-TV Good Day Dallas. Meridan showcases several creative lunch box ideas just in time for back to school.
Suggestions for healthy eats that will provide your kiddos with the physical energy and mental focus they’ll need for that science class after lunch include:
- Mix high-protein, low-sugar yogurt and granola together in a to-go container. Toss in fresh fruit!
- Whole grain tortilla wrap with low-fat tuna or chicken salad, dark leafy greens and tomatoes
- Whole grain tortilla wrap with a nut butter and banana slices (if your school is nut-friendly)
- A slice of cheese and low-sodium deli meat sandwiched between two high-protein, whole grain waffles
- Pack a mason jar full of squash, quinoa or other whole grain, feta and light dressing
- Get creative with fruit and veggies – have your kiddos tried purple carrots? Cut fruit into fun shapes, fashion fruit skewers (see photo below) or pack a “100% Fruit Roll-Up” (recipe courtesy of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Jodi Danen)
- Lastly, make a bento box. Compartments hold a hard-boiled egg, nuts, dried fruit, veggies, and…a Zing Bar! More fun bento box ideas here from Parents Magazine: “Think Inside the Box: 50 Bento Box Lunch Ideas.”
Mini Cooks in the Kitchen
Invite your kids to help you in the kitchen to pack their lunches – they’ll learn more about foods and will gain skills that will last! You’ll be spending quality time with them, and it’s also likely that they will want to try new foods if they had a part in making them.
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Jen Haugen, RD, LD, author of The Mom’s Guide to a Nourishing Garden, shared with us that introducing dark leafy greens to her young daughter was like asking her to eat bugs.
“She preferred sweet tasting foods over all things green,” Jen said.
But the family had a backyard garden; and Jen and her daughter made quesadillas and tore up chard to put inside. Jen’s daughter grew the chard herself and had weeded the entire area where it grew.
“She gobbled up the entire quesadilla, and she actually said she liked it!” Jen said.
Yet another idea for a great-tasting lunch!
Your son or daughter won’t want to swap lunches with any of his or her classmates this year!