They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but school lunches are especially vital for keeping young learners attentive and energized throughout the day. Here are some healthy lunch prep tips for kickstarting the fall semester.
Balance It Out
Satisfy those hungry appetites with fiber (produce and grains) and protein (meats, eggs, beans, dairy). Not only are these foods filling but they also help regulate blood sugar. Get started by using the online MyPlate tool to prepare meals that meet your child's nutritional needs.
Think Outside the Box
Add some excitement to your child's lunch break by trying some of these delicious main entrée ideas:
- Meat and veggie kabobs
- Pasta salads
- Rainbow veggie wraps
- Caprese salad bowls
- Bento boxes
Create Edible Art
Surprise your child with artistic creations! Grab some cookie cutters and turn sandwiches into edible stars, hearts, and dinosaurs. Add to the fun by sprinkling some holiday spirit into their lunch boxes with color-themed entrees.
Drink This, Not That
Opt for water and healthy beverages, such as low-fat or fat-free milk (or lactose-free equivalents), and 100% juice varieties. Skip over anything with added sugar to avoid those mid-day crashes.
Sneak in Some Produce
It can be a challenge motivating young eaters to reach for the fruit bowl instead of the cookie jar. Try some of these snack inspirations to help them embrace the fine art of healthy eating.
- String cheese with grapes
- Apples and peanut butter
- Carrots and hummus
- Berries and yogurt
Pro tip: Always keep fruit and pre-cut veggies handy at home to get your child in the routine of grabbing healthy on-the-go snacks.