By Elaf Selim
Once upon a time, there was a lovely mommy who had a little 7 year old girl. Every school morning, mommy would open her fridge and stare for 5 minutes not knowing what to put in her daughters lunch box. She wished she had ideas for quick and easy snacks that are also healthy and nutritious. Most of the packaged snacks for kids provide little to no nutrition value and include preservatives, artificial colors and flavors. Here are some ideas for all the lovely mommies who struggle with the same problem.
When it comes to packing a snack, which gets eaten and not returned back home, you need to be a bit crafty.
Variety is Key
Don’t pack large quantities of the same item but different items in smaller quantities. Children get bored. Also change the combination of items every day.
Include More Drinks
Some mommies forget this but children get very thirsty at school. In addition to adding a water bottle, you can add something to drink such as a yogurt drink, flavored milk, or juice. Try to choose juice made from natural sources with no added sugar.
Include Finger Veggies
Children need vitamins and fiber but lots of them don’t like veggies. Get crafty and choose vegetables which can be easy to eat, fun and colorful. Try some or a combination of mini carrots, cherry tomatoes in different colors, cucumber slices and celery sticks. If your child likes dips, you can add some ranch sauce or ketchup in a small container. You can even make your own yogurt dips.
Fruits are Dessert
Instead of adding candy, baked pastries or jam sandwiches to lunches; fruits can provide the needed sweetness. Children love strawberries, apple slices, different berries, pineapples and bananas. Make sure you wash them and put them in a plastic container so they are not mushed in the lunchbox.
Protein is Most Important
Include easy-to-eat options such as Grilled chicken cubes, Tuna mini sandwiches, Cheese sticks, all beef burgers cut in wedges, chicken wings. You can cook them in batches and store them in the fridge or freezer so you have a variety at hand.
Choose Healthy Treats
You can still add some fun treats but choose the healthy alternatives. For example, choose vegetable crackers instead of regular ones, pop-corn instead of chips and rise crispy bars instead of candy bars (if they are even allowed in your school).
Make it Fun
When you choose veggies and fruits, add a colorful combination so it’s more fun. You can also use some fun containers with colorful cartoon images.
Add Love Notes
For that special warm touch, add a sticky note in the lunch box with some love encouraging note to your child. It will make a difference, believe me. Write from your heart and keep it short and simple. Ex: “Mommy loves you”, “You are a good girl J” or even “Eat healthy and have fun!”. You can also try a fun riddle or joke to make them smile.
What are some tips you have for packing quick and healthy lunches?
About the Author
Elaf Selim is a Software Engineer, a Jewelry designer, a blogger and a Mom. She is the owner of SkiesAndSparkles.com, a handmade artisan jewelry shop. She loves photography, writing, historical architectures and nature in all forms.