[PARENTING] Tips for Packing a Healthy Lunch Even YOUR Kids Will Enjoy!

How to Pack a Nutritional Fun Lunch Your Kids Will Eat.

Are your kids tired of the same old boring brown bag lunch? Are you tired of packing the same old lunch, which can be just as boring as eating it yourself?  If so, why not change it up and make it nutritious and enjoyable for all parties involved? Here are some quick tips to make sure kids eat and enjoy their lunch (and reap nutritional benefits at the same time!)

Kids need the energy to finish strong for the second half of their day at school, so you want to make sure they get the fuel that they need.  In order for them to do this, there are five things every lunchbox should have: protein, fruit, veggies, juice and snacks.  Yes, snacks! Your little ones have worked hard all day, give them a little treat to top off their lunch…key word here is “little." Too much sugar and they'll be bouncing off the walls, unable to sit still in their class right after lunch.

Protein:

  • Peanut butter and jelly on whole-grain bread.  Use a cookie cutter to cut sandwich into fun shapes.
  • Tortilla roll-ups with deli meat (turkey or chicken) and cheese with lettuce is another option.

Fruit:

  • Sliced apples, pears (put in a bag with a little lemon juice or sprite to keep from browning)
  • Peaches, bananas, grapes and melons are also great alternatives.

Veggies:

  • Baby carrots, celery with peanut butter, and edamame.

Drinks: 

  • 2% Milk, soy or almond.

Water:

  • Fruit juice or veggie juice that is low in sugar (Capri Sun makes both) 

Snacks:

  • Goldfish crackers, pretzels (whole grain); baked chips that are made without trans-fats. 
  • String cheese
  • Dark chocolate square (just one or two small ones!)
  • Chocolate-covered raisins

After you've packed your kids new and exciting lunch top it off with a fun note.  You can either write a funny joke or encouraging word on a sticky note or napkin.  My kids love the sticky note jokes they get to open up during lunch.  It helps put a smile on their face and perhaps lift their mood if they were not having a good day. Here are a few silly kid jokes to get you started:

Why is 6 afraid of 7?...Because 7, 8 (ate), 9!

Why did the cookie go to the doctor?...He was feeling crummy!

Why was the car embarrassed?...It had gas!

Hope these fun tips make packing, eating and enjoying lunch a hit with your child!  If you have some ideas, feel free to share!

Audrey Griffin is a wife, mother of four, inspiring educator and parenting lifestyle consultant. Visit her website, check her out on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.