Packing lunchboxes can be stressful, particularly if you leave it for the last minute as you’re trying to head out the door and wrangle everyone into the car. Then there are all the choices: Do you fill it full of organic, nutritious stuff that your child may or may not eat? Do you fill it with items guaranteed to be consumed but not so healthy? And what about allergies… some schools are totally peanut-free, which leaves the old PBJ combo out in the cold.
You don’t want your kid to go hungry, waste food or, worse, trade for something you really don’t approve of. So, how do you create a win-win situation in the lunch box department?
There are many ways to sneak nutrition in, right under Sam’s or Sasha’s nose. The key factor that you need to remember is that taste trumps nutrition. If it tastes good, they won’t notice that it is also good for them. Here are a few ideas to run with on healthy snacks to stuff in a lunch box, without alerting the consumer (A.K.A. your kid) to its healthfulness.
- Homemade trail mix – Kids love to snack on stuff by the handful and naturally lean towards food they can eat in bite-sized servings. Moms love it because you can also sneak all sorts of good stuff in there – dried fruit bits, seeds, etc. – without them being any wiser.
- Chips & salsa – Always a perennial favorite; you can even make homemade salsa and tortilla chips on the weekend for more control over what your kids are eating.
- Veggie chips- Before you grab that 10-pack of not-so-good-for-you chips, try the veggie ones. Chips and puffs made from vegetables often include a bit more in the vitamin area, and most kids do like them. Try a bag next time.
- Mini kabobs- Use small wooden skewers and thread grapes, small cubes of cheese and leftover ham or chicken. Healthy, tasty and fun.
- Hummus- This Middle Eastern chickpea dip is super healthy and is another great way to serve up those baby carrots. Dips and kids are always a hit. (LOVE hummus with Stacy’s Pita Chips!)
- Tzatziki- Originally from Greece, this garlicky yogurt dip is not for everyone but may just suit your kid’s need for saltiness. Great with sliced cucumbers or pita chips.
- Cheese – Single serve cheeses are awesome. They include a dose of calcium and protein. Include a toothpick for fun eating.
What are you quick (and healthy) lunch box ideas?