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Back-to-school can definitely feel overwhelming as you ease back into a routine. One of the biggest complaints parents have is lunch, especially when trying to compete with all those heart-shaped cucumber sandwiches.

I have amazing news for you; no one needs a heart-shaped sandwich, especially not your kid who is just ploughing through lunch to get outside. So, let’s focus on the essentials:

  • nutrition
  • variety
  • balance

Nutrient dense meals are very important to make sure kids get the most out of their day. High protein, low sugar, healthy fats, are all things you should be checking off before closing that PlanetBox.

Find a list of hidden sugars that live in your kitchen here.

The best tip I can give you is to pack what they like. If you pack a lunch they do not care for, they will not eat it! Find a handful of healthy lunch ideas, and put them on a rotation.

Include a healthy treat, preferably homemade to decrease the amount of preservatives, and make them excited to open their lunch. Had an awesome dinner? Heat it up the next morning and toss it in a thermos. If age-appropriate, get them to pack their own lunch, but be sure to explain the importance of a well-balanced meal.

Here’s a humungous kid-approved list of lunch items:

  • Avocado (the ultimate brain food)
  • Hard boiled egg
  • Cheese sticks
  • Cut up veggies
  • Yogurt (low sugar)
  • Berries
  • Apple wedges
  • Cream cheese sandwich or wrap
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Egg salad in a wrap/melba toast
  • Yogurt with fresh fruit
  • Grilled cheese
  • Chicken drumstick
  • Pizza
  • Hummus and… everything
  • Sushi
  • Pasta salad (load up the veggies)
  • Soup
  • Muffin tin omelet
  • Quesadillas
  • Tuna salad
  • Pancakes/french toast with pure maple syrup
  • Healthy dips
  • Homemade zucchini/banana bread
  • Oatmeal with fruit
  • Quiche
  • Pinwheel sandwiches
  • Granola (homemade and nut-free)
  • Mac and Cheese (homemade)
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Tortellini
  • Kale chips
  • Muffins (homemade, refined sugar free)
  • Cauliflower wings
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Burger
  • Smoked salmon on cream cheese
  • Corn on the cob
  • Shrimp
  • Chickpea pasta in their favourite sauce
  • Smoothie

This list can go on and on, but this should be enough to get you comfortable in your lunch regime.

Remember to go easy on the sugar, load up on veggies, a bit of fruit, and tons of healthy fat to feed that brain!

 

Image from PlanetBox

 

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