With the new school year quickly approaching, we’re sure parents and little ones are keen to get back into the swing of things. While a new school year may come with its own challenges in getting the littlies out the door, we want to help you ensure that preparing healthy school lunches for kids (that they enjoy) are the least of your worries.
Whether you’re a first-timer or seasoned at school organisation, check out our 7 top tips for healthy kids lunch boxes as suggested by other parents!
Meal prepping is the biggest time saver. To avoid staying up at all hours of the night preparing kids lunch boxes for the next day, help yourself by preparing as much food at the start of the week as possible. Nicole from Nourish and Connect suggests baking in batches and pre-chopping fruit and veg on the weekend, as well as preparing for dinner left overs, to make packing lunches a breeze.
To help your little ones grow big and strong, it’s important to provide a healthy and balanced diet, but we know that isn’t always easy! Registered Dietician and mother, Chacha Miller, recommends incorporating at least 2 – 3 of the following food categories in kids lunchboxes: healthy carbs, healthy fats, protein, and fruits/veggies. For snack ideas incorporating these food groups, check out her post here.
Kids love variety!
While providing a balanced selection of food is our goal, providing an interesting selection of food is important for kids! We’re talking different flavours, textures and levels of nutrition. You want to include snacks that you know your kid will enjoy. When Kathryn from Mumma Makes Lunch packs her kids lunch boxes, she makes a point to include something sweet, something savoury, and something substantial.
Let them graze
As suggested by Goodie Goodie Lunch Box, there are so many reasons why your child might be bringing home full lunch boxes. They could be too busy being kids (talking and playing) to concentrate on eating their lunches. This is why smaller portions of a variety of different foods is great to keep them interested in different flavours and coming back for more. Packing colourful lunches in a bento box is a great way to keep the little ones excited for snack time!
Get the kids involved
Alison from Mum Made Yum suggests that a great way to ensure your child is interested in eating lunch at school is to involve them in packing their lunch boxes! Whether you ask them for suggestions on what they might like to eat or you get their assistance in making snacks, their sense of accomplishment is a great encouragement for them finish their lunch boxes.
Keep it fun for picky eaters
We get it, you can try every trick in the book and some kids just won’t eat their fruit and veggies. If you’re feeling extra creative or have a little more time on your hands, Kerry (Bentos Kids Lunch) has a variety of creative ways to pack lunches to appeal to little ones. From superheroes to animals (and everything in between), there are endless ways you can bring a little fun into meal times.
Healthy food swaps
When you’re in a rush to pack school lunches, it can be easy to fall back on unhealthy snacks. A team of dieticians from Eat Sense have suggested looking into healthy lunch box swaps like trading potato chips for popcorn. At Whole Kids, we have a variety of healthy snack alternatives for kids that taste delicious and are perfect for school lunches, including our Organic Brown Rice Crackers and Organic Vanilla Farm Animal Biscuits.