Having a nutritious lunch gives kids the fuel they need to thrive at school. Here are four ways to ensure you’re sending your children off with a midday meal that’s good for them – and that they’ll want to eat.
Get the kids involved
No matter how young your school-aged kids are, you should give them a role in making their lunch. Younger ones can help get the items out of the fridge or pantry and handle simple tasks like buttering bread. Teach older kids how to safely chop vegetables, and to heat things up on the stove or in the microwave if they’re packing a thermos. Eventually, the kids will be able to pack their lunches on their own, freeing you up from a daily chore.
If your mornings are always a mad dash to get them out the door on time, you should take care of lunch prep the night before.
Pack healthy treats
Along with the main meal, you’ll want to include a treat or two so they have something to really look forward to. While the odd indulgence of candy or a chocolate bar will make them happy, you should try to provide healthier options as much as possible, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Just pack them carefully so fragile foods don’t get damaged. You can get many picky eaters to eat their veggies if you include a nutritious dip, like hummus.
Many parents are cautious about how many sugary drinks they let their kids consume. So, while you may not pack a pop in a child’s lunch, don’t forget that even real fruit juice is packed with sugar. Health Canada recommends water as the best choice. But be aware that most plastic ends up in landfill, even if you put it in the recycling bin. So, pack their water in a reusable bottle that they can refill at school.
Consider your ingredients
When you’re shopping for items to use in lunches, keep in mind the quality of the ingredients you’re selecting. Certain fruits and vegetables, including strawberries and bell peppers, tend to have more pesticide residue on them, so you might want to choose organic versions of those if you can, or be sure to wash them thoroughly before consuming.
When selecting bread for sandwiches, consider sprouted whole grains, such as Silver Hills Bakery bread. Sprouted whole grains are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and protein – more than whole wheat – and are easy to digest.
Find recipes and more nutritional information at silverhillsbakery.ca