Now that my oldest is in school five days a week, I’ve really had to step up my game when it comes to ensuring that he is eating a nutritious lunch, and making healthy snack choices, when I can’t be there to guide his every move. One way I can be certain that this is the case, is by packing his lunch, and filling his lunch box with the things that he needs to fuel his body and his mind. This can be a bit tricky, as he is often picky about what he likes and doesn’t like, but through lots of trial and error, I feel like I’ve finally mastered it… particularly because he comes home with an empty lunch box every day. A mom win for sure! I wanted to share my five tips/essentials for packing a healthy lunch box, and what I’ve learned along the way, with the hopes that I might be able to provide some inspiration for other moms who aren’t always sure how to pack a nutritious lunch for their kids, that they will actually eat.
1. When it comes to packing a drink, I ONLY pack water. I learned this one the hard way. There was a time, when all my kids would drink was juice and milk, and that’s because I allowed it. Finally I vowed that I would get them to drink more water, and that’s what I started offering them. The first few days were tough, but eventually they realized that if they were thirsty, that’s what they had to drink. Now they ask for water willingly, and I feel better knowing that they are drinking the healthiest thing for them.
2. Fruits and Veggies… I am always sure to pack at least one serving of a fruit or a vegetable in my son’s lunch box. Anything from apple slices, to blueberries, to baby carrots or celery. If your kids will only eat these things with dip, then throw some peanut butter (if your child attends a nut free school, use a seed butter) or ranch dressing in there too.
3. Protein… I like to regularly pack some kind of protein in my son’s lunch box. Not only is it good for him, but it helps to keep him full throughout the day. This usually includes something like a string cheese, a yogurt, or even some deli turkey or a hard boiled egg.
4. Happy Kid Fruit & Oat Bars…These bars are a recent discovery for us, but they were an instant hit. One of my favorite mom tricks/hacks is feeding my kids something that they think of as a treat even though I know it’s something healthy, and my kids can’t get enough of these bars. Not only do they contain no added sugar, but they are also organic, gluten free, non-GMO, and they contain no preservatives or artificial flavors or colors. The bars combine oats and milled flaxseeds with real organic dates and fruit, which helps to make them sweet without any artificial sweeteners. Happy Kid Fruit & Oat Bars are the perfect size to pack in a lunchbox, or to toss in my bag for a healthy on-the-go snack for my kids, and they come in yummy flavors like banana and chocolate (a favorite in our house), apple and cinnamon, and blueberry and raspberry. You can learn more about Happy Family products here, and the bars can be found on Amazon.com, at Babies R Us, Buy Buy Baby, Sprouts Farmers Market, Shoprite, and on Walmart.com. You can also grab yourself a coupon and save by clicking here!
5. A nutritious side snack… for us, this usually includes something like pretzels, some crackers, veggie straws, or even yogurt covered raisins!
I hope that these tips help to inspire you if you’re looking for ideas when it comes to packing a nutritious lunch for your child. Helping our kids make the right food choices when they are young helps to instill a healthy relationship with food that they will no doubt carry with them in the future. Don’t forget to grab your coupon for Happy Kid Fruit & Oat Bars here!
What is something healthy that you like to pack in your child’s lunchbox?