RealAge answered:Here are a bunch of ideas for fun and healthy packed lunches for kids:
Here are a bunch of ideas for fun and healthy packed lunches for kids: Add fun with shapes: For young ones, use large cookie cutters to make star-shaped sandwiches on birthdays, ghosts at Halloween, and snowmen in December. Make... More
- Add fun with shapes: For young ones, use large cookie cutters to make star-shaped sandwiches on birthdays, ghosts at Halloween, and snowmen in December.
- Make do-it-yourself stacks: Forget those highly processed lunch kits from the deli section. Put whole-wheat crackers, a favorite cheese or two, and lean meat in separate bags; add a mustard packet, and let kids make their own snack stacks.
- Pack an edible forest: Vegetables are much more fun when they're really broccoli "trees," carrot "logs," bell-pepper-strip "canoes," cherry tomato "boulders," and cucumber-slice "bridges," all ready to dunk into salsa, hummus, or an herbed yogurt dip.
- Make it brunch: There's nothing wrong with a box of multigrain cereal, a container of berries, and a thermos of milk for lunch if that's what your kid really wants.
- Change up the bread: For a kid with a sweet tooth, how about low-fat cream cheese with apple slices on cinnamon-raisin bread? For an adventurous teen, try turkey and cheddar on rye with chutney.
- Make quick kebabs: Healthy-food gurus and parents suggest threading wooden skewers with cubes of turkey, low-fat cheese, grapes, and dried apricots. Wrap individually in tight plastic.
- Stuff it: Cut whole-wheat pitas in half, line them with lettuce leaves, and stuff them with hummus and shredded carrots, chicken slices and honey mustard, or egg salad and Canadian bacon (a lean meat).
- For veggie lovers: Load a container with leafy greens, chopped veggies, and chickpeas. Add a packet of salad dressing and whole-grain pretzels or sesame crackers.
- Make it a sub. Or a burrito: Fill a thermos with sliced-up meatballs and tomato sauce. Pack a sliced whole-wheat roll for a hot sub sandwich on the first cool day. Or fill the thermos with chicken-and-bean taco filling; pack whole-wheat tortillas and a bag of shredded lettuce and cheese.
- Always throw in some fruit: Fresh is ideal, but stock up on sealed fruit cups (packed in juice, not syrup) and raisin boxes for that morning when there's not a tangerine in sight.
- Tuck in a "real" dessert: Restricting treats entirely can make kids obsess over them and lead to bingeing and weight problems. Just choose desserts with redeeming qualities.
Let's face it, at the end of the school day, when you remove your child's lunch box from his/her backpack and find that not one tiny morsel was eaten, you probably don't know whether to scream or cry. You want to scream because all your good efforts seem to be for naught. You want to cry because you know that your ravenous child hasn't eaten since 7:30 am, and it's now 3:30 pm.
After too many of these late-afternoon sessions, I smartened up and had a fireside chat with my son. When negotiating what to pack for school lunch, consider these ABCs:
Ask your child what he or she wants for lunch.
Be firm and make sure that the majority of it is healthy.
Compromise a smidgen.
Here are four acceptable, kid-approved, and parent-approved healthy lunches. Don't forget daily milk money. On Fridays, all parents should take the day off. Pack lunch money.
Baked whole grain tortilla chips
Salsa (packed in a covered container)
Cheddar cheese, reduced fat, wedges
Thanksgiving Tuesday Sandwich:
Whole wheat roll
Homestyle turkey breast (cook a turkey breast for dinner on Sunday, then use the leftovers for lunches)
Roast Beef Roll Up Wednesday:
Whole wheat flour tortilla
Lean roast beef
Light cheddar cheese
(Put roast beef, cheese, mayo, and lettuce on flat tortilla. Roll up. Place in container.)
Carrots sticks (1 cup)
Light Italian salad dressing (2 tablespoons)
(Packing tip: Pour salad dressing in bottom of small container. Stack carrots sticks on top. Cover.)
B.O.B (Big On Bagels) Thursday:
Whole grain bagel with Light cream cheese
Mozzarella cheese sticks, part skim,
2 Red pepper slices with light Ranch dressing (Packed in container.)
Low fat milkLet's face it, at the end of the school day, when you remove your child's lunch box from his/her backpack and find that not one tiny morsel was eaten, you probably don't know whether to scream or cry. You want to scream because all your good efforts... More
Children like to play with food! Fun lunches often involve lots of little items that add up to a healthy meal. Remember to keep hot foods hot and cold food cold. Here are some suggestions: Hummus with whole wheat pita. Carrots and ranch dressing. Whole wheat pasta and meat balls with red sauce. Fresh fruit with yogurt and coconut flakes, toss in a few small or mini chocolate chip cookies. Baked chips with salsa. Whole grain crackers with low fat string cheese. Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread. Whole wheat banana bread with strawberry cream cheese and chopped dates. Hard boiled eggs, rolled slices of ham, and sliced red and green peppers. Soft whole grain pretzels with mustard dipping sauce. Baked chicken fingers with BBQ dipping sauce. Sliced apples and Carmel sauce.Children like to play with food! Fun lunches often involve lots of little items that add up to a healthy meal. Remember to keep hot foods hot and cold food cold. Here are some suggestions: Hummus with whole wheat pita. Carrots and ranch dressing.... More