School’s back in session! Healthy lunches are key to ensuring your child is energized for learning this school year. The following tips and lunchtime ideas will help make packing lunches a breeze.
- Get your children involved in packing their lunches. Children are more likely to eat foods they helped pick out, and it is a great way to teach them responsibility and the importance of healthy eating. When creating your meal plan for the week, your child can help out in various ways, including choosing recipes, finding ingredients in the grocery store, and picking out new foods to try. They can also help with getting their lunch box ready in the morning or even the night before!
- Keep Canada’s Food Guide in mind. Their lunch should include healthy proteins as well as whole grains. Here are a few ways to include this:
- Sandwich with whole grain bread, meat, and leafy vegetables. You can also switch it up by using whole grain wraps!
- Individual pizza with vegetable toppings on an English muffin or bagel
- Cheese quesadilla to be warmed up in the microwave
- Leftovers such as whole grain pasta with meat sauce – remember to always use an ice pack in your child’s insulated lunch box. Alternatively, you can warm up their lunch at home and pack it in a thermos.
- Hard boiled eggs – can be cut up and served with crackers
- Nuts (being mindful of allergy guidelines at your child’s school)
- Homemade muffins
Fruits and vegetables should make up about half of your child’s lunch. Try packing
- Whole fruit such as apples, bananas, oranges, or pears
- Cut up melon
- Cut up veggies such as carrots, cucumbers, or celery with dip – this can be prepared ahead of time into individual portions for easy lunch packing
Finally, make water your child’s drink of choice. Use a reusable water bottle so they can refill it throughout the day as needed.
Check out the following resources for more tips and ideas!