Our eldest son starts Kindergarten this September and he will be having lunch at school everyday. His school does not offer a hot lunch program so I will be packing his meals at home daily. I have already been packing his snacks for Preschool so I know what he enjoys, and I usually focus on packing healthy meals that are fun and easy to eat.
Having a balanced and healthy lunch is key to giving children the energy they require and fuel their little bodies. Below are some of our tips to make packing a healthy kid-friendly lunch easy:
- First, plan ahead of time and pack the night before: The morning rush makes it hard to throw a healthy lunch together before leaving the house. Planning weekly meals, shopping for healthy ingredients ahead of time and prepping the night before make a huge difference!
- Avoid sending store-bought, sugar-filled snacks: Homemade snacks are always healthier. If you want to send a dessert you can try sending fruit or baking homemade muffins; you can even bake them with your child the night before.
- Ensure the four food groups are covered: Try to pack meals that include vegetables or fruits, grain products, dairy and protein. Pack some fresh vegetables and fruits instead of packaged snacks and add some yogurt or cheese to their lunch.
- Send kid-size portions: Remember you are packing lunch for a child, be mindful of portion sizes.
- Purchase re-usable containers: Plastic BPA-free containers are great for sending lunches to school. Modular containers like Rubbermaid LunchBlox® come in a variety of sizes that snap together and are easy to pack.
- Get Creative: Children love creative and colourful meals. Making a “face” on their sandwich, cutting fruits onto shapes and writing a note for them to find inside are all great fun. Pinterest is a wonderful resource with a variety of inspiring photos.
How do YOU pack your child’s lunch? Do you have any tips to share?