What Does a Balanced, Yummy Lunch Look Like for Kids?
What’s your topmost concern when packing your kids’ lunch boxes? As most parents would think, “health” should be the answer. You want the best of everything for your child, and nutrition should be at the top of the list. One of the ideal ways to get the right food choices for your little darlings is to focus on both quantity and variety.
But what if we tell you that by following a few simple steps, you can guarantee an empty lunch box back home every single day? You read that right! Healthy food doesn’t have to be boring. Adding a little creativity and some fun elements can offer a balanced, yummy lunch that your kids will love. Read on because this blog has you covered.
TOP TIPS TO PREPARE HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS LUNCHES FOR YOUR KIDS
Picky little eaters can give you a hard time, especially if you have a school-going kid and you won’t be around to ensure they finish everything in their lunch box. Before we dig deeper into what their lunch plates should look like, here’s a simple formula that you need to remember:
- Choose a variety of vegetables and fruits that fills half their plate.
- Fill one-quarter of the plate with whole grains.
- Dedicate the remaining quarter to healthy proteins.
- Round up with a small amount of dairy or healthy fats.
- Sugary snacks should be limited to once or twice a week.
Now that you’ve got the basic idea, here’s everything to help you prepare a healthy plate full of nutrition for your kids’ lunchtime:
Making the Right Choices
Fresh fruits (Choose one)
Some of the most suitable options are apple slices, grapes on a stick, a variety of colorful berries (strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries), banana slices, and chunks of melons (watermelon or honeydew).
Fresh vegetables (Choose two)
If your little one doesn’t like the taste of regular vegetables, try to pack your kids’ lunch box with something different. You can add carrot sticks, cucumber sticks, bell pepper strips, broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, summer squash ribbons, and asparagus spears.
Healthy protein (Choose one)
Try each option for different days, such as roasted chicken or turkey slices, hard-boiled eggs, hummus and pita, peanut butter sandwich, nuts and seeds, and beans.
Healthy whole grains (Choose one)
When making a weekly plan for your kids’ lunch box, choose from whole-grain bread, pasta, brown rice, crackers, steel-cut oats, and quinoa. You should keep the quantity low for processed grains.
Don’t Forget Water
Last but not least, don’t forget hydration. It’s a key component of a balanced diet as it’s necessary for our bodily functions. Use a cute-looking, refillable water bottle that encourages your kids to sip on throughout the day. You can also try out unsweetened, flavored fruit-infused water as a healthy beverage choice for your kids.
Presenting It the Right Way
All of those options above sound healthy but not too enticing, right? This is where it gets better. Presentation plays a huge role, so make that lunch as presentable and adorable as possible. Here are some ideas:
- Slice up vegetables, protein, and fruit into small balls, star shapes, or cubes, and set them up on a rounded-edge skewer in a colorful pattern.
- Get creative with kids’ lunch boxes and invest in bento boxes with small divided containers. Not only are they great for portion control, but keeping food separate helps create a nice presentation and encourages your little ones to finish lunch. It also becomes a task for your little one to finish all the food inside the box.
- You should follow a theme. For example, set Monday for Mexican food, prepare a lunch box with brown rice, beans, tortilla chips with homemade guacamole and top it off with salsa. If Tuesday is pizza day, prepare a whole-grain pita and top it with chicken, onions, tomatoes, mozzarella, and bell peppers.
- Some cool ideas for themed food include green day (with all green food), rainbow day (colorful food variety), and Chinese food. Theme food also ensures you’re getting all the balanced nutrition for your kids’ lunch box by adding a variety of healthy foods.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Healthy food equals healthy kids. Even if you replace one regular meal with a healthy option during the day, the difference will be phenomenal. Try out these amazing tips and tricks to make your kids’ lunch boxes more interesting and healthier, and don’t hesitate to choose your favorite healthy lunch combo that your child loved the most.