Your children may not want to believe it, but summer vacation is nearly over (or for some of us, already over.) That means they are back to the daily grind, and for you, a change in routine. For one thing, if your kids bring their own lunches, you’re back to planning a daily lunch menu.
You can simply pack the same thing over and over. This works if your children aren’t picky eaters. They might love what you make and never ask questions. However, for some of us it’s not that easy. Lunches can be a challenge. With this in mind, we thought we’d share a few healthy school lunch ideas to jumpstart your imagination.
1. Veggie Wraps with Hummus
One of the best ways to incorporate veggies into your child’s lunch is through wraps. Whole wheat tortillas filled with colorful bell peppers, shredded carrots, lettuce, cucumber, and a spread of hummus make for a delightful and nutritious combination. Hummus, made from chickpeas, offers a good dose of protein and fiber. These wraps are not only delicious but also visually appealing, ensuring that children are more inclined to eat them.
2. Homemade Lunchables
Make lunchtime more exciting with a homemade Lunchable for your child. Creating these tasty and healthy meals is easier than you think. Begin by selecting a range of kid-friendly ingredients, like sliced deli meats, cheese cubes, whole grain crackers, and a colorful assortment of fruits and vegetables. Maintain the freshness of each ingredient by using a container with separate compartments and neatly arrange your child’s preferred combinations within it. To add an extra element of fun, involve your child in the process of assembling their own favorite Lunchable combinations.
3. Turkey and Cheese Whole Wheat Sandwich
Lean meats like turkey are an excellent source of protein. Pair them with a slice of cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes between whole wheat bread slices. The complex carbs from the whole wheat bread provide sustained energy, ensuring that students remain alert during afternoon classes.
4. Pasta Salad with Veggies
Opt for whole wheat or multi-grain pasta to increase the nutritional value. Toss in a variety of chopped vegetables like bell peppers, olives, and cherry tomatoes. Dress it with olive oil, a bit of lemon juice, and herbs. This cold pasta salad is not only flavorful but also provides a variety of nutrients in a single dish.
5. Fruity Yogurt Parfait
Desserts can be healthy too! Layer Greek yogurt with fresh seasonal fruits and a sprinkle of granola or nuts. The yogurt is a source of calcium and protein, while the fruits provide necessary vitamins and fibers. Granola or nuts give that crunchy texture along with added nutrients.
6. Bean and Corn Salad
Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Mix black beans and sweet corn with diced tomatoes, red onion, and a hint of lime juice. This protein-rich salad is both refreshing and fulfilling.
7. Hard-Boiled Eggs with Veggie Sticks
Hard-boiled eggs are easy to prepare and are a fantastic protein source. Pair them with veggie sticks like carrots, celery, and cucumber. A small container of a healthy dip, like guacamole or tzatziki, can make this lunch option even more exciting.
Incorporating Healthy Snacks
In addition to these lunch ideas, always consider adding a side of fruit or healthy snacks. Nuts, seeds, and dried fruits can be an excellent snack option. They provide the essential fats, proteins, and sugars in balanced amounts.
Des Moines Pediatrics’ mission is to deliver the highest standard of health care to children of all ages. Established in 1958, our practice has a long tradition of pediatrics in our community.
All of our providers are Board Certified and follow the teachings and recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
We at Des Moines Pediatrics are a team of family-focused professionals committed to you and your child.