There’s no one-size-fits-all formula that helps make packing healthy but child-approved lunches simple, but the moms at YumEarth have a few great tips:
- Pre-make as much as you can on Sunday nights: If you can’t get the entire week’s worth of lunches made ahead of time, do anything that can lessen the load: chop veggies, divide snacks into portion sizes, or clean all of your Tupperware.
- Mix it up: Build an arsenal of quick, healthy, and easy-to-make lunch ideas. Kids are more likely to eat the lunch you give them when it’s not the same thing day in and day out.
- Make it fun: Add creative elements like themed days, hidden treats, or “build it yourself” foods.
- Kids trade food: Whether it’s color, taste, style, a personal touch, or a combination – a little personality can do wonders with encouraging your kid to eat the lunch you packed.
- Add a treat: Load them up with lots of healthy choices, but don’t forget something that’s a special treat to pull it all together.
Here are some of our FAVORITE lunches:
- Pizza Day: Mini pizzas loaded with veggies, caesar Salad, and fruit snack pizza (whole wheat crackers, almond butter, and tropical fruit snacks)
- Spicy (or not) Mexican: Chicken quesadilla, veggies with salsa, orange slices, hot chili mango lollipop
- DIY: Whole wheat bread cut into small shapes with cookie cutters and deli meat and cheese for “build your own” sandwiches, yogurt with fresh fruit to stir in, Gummy Bears on a log (Celery with Almond Butter and Gummy Bears)
- Picnic: Cold pasta salad, pretzels with hummus, a handful of grapes, and Jello with fruit snacks
- Super Foods: Quinoa with veggies and feta cheese, avocado spread (avocado, Greek yogurt, chia seeds, salt, pepper, squeeze of lime juice) with crackers, blackberries, Pomegranate Gummy Bears
- Breakfast for Lunch: Whole wheat waffles made into PBJ sandwiches with bananas, hard-boiled egg, veggies with cottage cheese dip, Sour Twists
- Leftovers: Grilled chicken and brown rice, medley of cantaloupe, honey dew, and water melon, sliced bell pepper and ranch dressing, a strawberry lollipop
- New Twist on a Classic: Turkey sandwich, homemade kale chips (we swear kids like these), apple sauce with fruit snacks mixed in, carrot sticks.
- Everything on a Stick: Lunch meat and cheese rolls skewered with a pretzel stick, veggie and fruit kabobs, a lollipop
- Nut and Berry Fiesta: Taco salad, mixed berries, a handful of almonds, Sour Twists