More Fresh and Real Foods, Less Processed Foods. Lunchtime is the only chance during the school day to connect with your child and love them up. It is time for your kiddo to be nourished, and to fuel up for the rest of the school day. If I had to sit in school running on sugar, dyes, and chemicals, I can tell you that I would be foggy, grumpy, and probably not so nice to my classmates. Get those fruits and veggies in there!
Don’t Rock the Boat. School lunch is not the time to reinvent the wheel. Please don’t send your mac-n-cheese loving kiddo a raw vegan salad with sprouts. Work within their terms and use breakfast, snacks, and dinner as times to experiment and encourage them to try new things. If your child will reliably eat an apple or carrots, send them every day. Variety is only healthy if they eat it. If they eat carrots, try putting two grape tomatoes in with the carrots. If the tomatoes get eaten, you may have a new food that you can send. Slip one lettuce leaf into a sandwich on the weekend. If they eat it, you have a green light to start including it in school lunches.
Let them Dip. Sending a small container or hummus or guacamole to dip those veggies in can help make them disappear.
Upgrade Your Condiments. Instead of dressing their sandwiches with nutritionally empty, genetically modified soy mayo, try spreading hummus, mashed avocado, or homemade pesto on your child’s sandwich. Nourishment and a zing of flavor!
Send Leftovers. Doubling or Tripling your dinner recipe can mean that lunches are packed after dinner is cooked. Just pack the leftovers and you are ready to go the next morning. Thermoses are great for sending in last night’s meal.
Leftover Beef Roast, Carrots, and Onions with Peeled Apple Slices
Pack Water. Yes, water! Not juice. Not milk. Pack a bottle of water in their lunch and another in their backpack that they can keep on their desk. I hear many parents say that their children start having headaches and constipation once the school year starts. They cannot go all day without drinking some H2O.
Send Lunches in Safe Materials. Plastics contain harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals like BPA and phthalates. If you are tasting plastic on your food or in your water, then you can expect you are also ingesting these chemicals. Check out our favorite, safe lunchbox at the link: http://www.thrivingfamilyhealth.com/blog/2013/08/planetbox-lunchboxes
Turkey and Hummus Wraps, Leftover Green Beans, Cucumbers, Apple Slices, Chocolate Chips
I send water in glass and stainless steel water bottles by Life Factory (www.lifefactory.com) and Klean Kanteen (www.KleanKanteen.com). We have had our Klean Kanteens for over 4 years and they are going strong. I recommend buying the stainless, unpainted kanteen as the paint has started chipping on our colored ones.
Have Fun and Think Outside the Box. Pack a note or a sticker. Cut your veggies into shapes. Get your child involved and follow their lead. Let them choose their lunchbox. Take them with you to the store, or let them have input on your shopping list. Give them two or three choices… “I can pack an apple, grapes, or a pear.” They get to choose and you win either way.
Leftover Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce, Cucumbers, Cantelope, Chocolate Chips
If you are interested in more tips like these and want to find out how my health coaching programs can help you and your family, email me at Sarah@ThrivingFamilyHealth.com and schedule an appointment for a free health history.
– See more at: http://sarah-cusack.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/blog/2013/08/tfh-school-lunch-tips#sthash.QqOWJAb2.dpuf