Time to send the kids off to school! Don’t forget their lunch! But you don’t want to pack just any lunch. But should you go for healthy or tasty? What about earth-friendly? You can actually do all three in one lunch. Imagine that!
Keep it Earth-Friendly!
Being friendly to the planet helps keep it being friendly in return. But, how is it possible to do so with a school lunch?
Go reusable! Instead of sending your kid to school with paper bag lunches every day, purchase a reusable lunch sack. There are many options and sizes available. Try to go for something recycled or biodegradable. Also, pick out reusable containers for sandwiches, drinks, and other items.
Skip pre-packaged foods and buy local. Not only does this trick help save the Earth, but depending on your choices, this is healthier for the kids too. Head to the grocery deli (or even better, the local market) for sliced meats and cheeses. Buy produce locally and organic.
Keep Them Hydrated!
Water is of course the healthiest drink, but some kids just won’t drink it. There are many vitamin-infused flavor enhancers for those kids who just won’t drink plain water. You can also go with 100% juice blends. Try mixing vegetable juices with fruit juices. Homemade is best, but if you can’t or choose not to go this route, try mixing those in the store. The healthiest and closest to homemade are usually in or near the produce aisle.
Keep it Healthy!
Healthy doesn’t have to be boring. It can be flavorful and fun for the kids. Mix things up too. Don’t send your kid to school with the same lunch every day! Give your child choices – but healthy ones! Mix and match healthy items to create a balanced lunch.
Lean meats and lowfat cheeses – These are great for filling up hungry kids.
Homemade trail mix – Throw in various unsalted and unsweetened dried fruits and nuts depending on individual tastes.
Whole grain crackers or bread – Use the bread to make sandwiches or the crackers to accompany the meats and cheeses.
Freshly diced fruits and veggies – Keeping these stocked in the fridge can help speed up lunch preparation in the morning.
Plain lowfat yogurt – Choose plain yogurt so that kids can add their own things to flavor it. Fruits and granola are great add-ins for yogurt. Pack the yogurt and the add-ins separately in your child’s lunch for best results.
Keep it Tasty!
Try enhancing the flavor with honey and spices instead of sugar and salt. Add some cinnamon and nutmeg to fruits, nuts, yogurt, or other treats. Honey is a better option if your kids must have something sweet. Light dressings can enhance veggies. For instance, a lowfat ranch dip is good paired with carrots and celery sticks. An even better option is an onion dip made from sour cream, green onions, and garlic. If your kids like spice, throw in some cayenne pepper. Try different spice options and mix them up often to give the kids variety in their school lunches.