Ideas for Healthy Lunches for Kids

lunchesThe school day can be a long and taxing one for children. A child’s growing body needs a lot of calories and nutrients, and the long, draining school day puts stress on their body and mind. It can be difficult to pack healthy lunches for kids, especially on days when they have physical education or other classes on their timetable. Hopefully these ideas for lunches that are of good nutrition will inspire you and help you to find something that they will enjoy eating.

Simple Sandwiches

The most popular packed lunch for kids involves sandwiches, but white bread and spread or cheese is hardly ideal from a nutritional standpoint. If you want something a little more nutritious, try these simple but still wholesome ideas.

To begin with, when packing a healthy lunch, eschew white bread in favor of wholegrain bread. If your children do not like wholegrain bread, try mixing one slice of wholegrain with one slice of white, or using brown bread or wholemeal bread instead.

Secondly, try to make the sandwich from as many different ingredients as possible. Avoid tomatoes, because these make the bread go soggy, and will probably mean that the sandwich is inedible by lunch time. Cucumbers are another thing that will probably not work in sandwiches. Try to use real butter (not margarine), full fat cheese, lettuce, spring onions, peppers and tomatoes. If you use meat, try to use chicken, ham or finely sliced beef. Avoid mechanically recovered meats and spreads or pates that are high in salt. This will help you to put together nutritious, filling sandwiches. You can cut the crusts off the sandwiches, or even cut them using cookie cutters to make them more visually appealing. The goal is simply to get your child to eat a sandwich that is full of fresh, nutritious ingredients.

Exotic Nutrition

If you want to make something more interesting than sandwiches, try putting together an exotic meal based on foreign foods. Wraps full of falafel are filling and nutritious, as are onion bahjis and samosas. You can make these fresh yourself or buy them from a supermarket, cook them the evening before and let your child eat them cold.

Other popular dishes that make great packed lunches include cous cous salads and hummus dips. Serve these with slices of carrot and celery. Often, children who dislike vegetables will find that the vegetables are quite appealing when they are combined with a dip! Hummus is a great way to expose your child to healthy fats and a small amount of protein.

Simple Snacks

In addition to the main meal, healthy lunches for kids should also include a tasty snack or dessert. If you don’t want to give your kids potato chips or chocolate, why not give them dried fruit and nuts? Raisins, dried bananas, apple chips and brazil nuts are all tasty snacks that most kids will love, and that you can serve up guilt-free. If you don’t want to give nuts to a younger child, give them whole bananas and apples instead.

Nutrition doesn’t have to be a bad experience for children. Make them happy by applying these tips to their meals and lunches at school.