Does the thought of making 180 school box lunches for your kids this school year stress you out? Want to learn how to easily plan and make them?
By following these 3 tips, you’ll learn how to make delicious, healthy lunches that provide energy and satiety to support your kids during school. You’ll be confident they’re getting the nutrition they need for their growing bodies, health, focus, and learning.
Traditional school lunches and snacks seriously lack nutrition. Before I knew better, my kids’ lunches consisted of goldfish, juice boxes, chips, cookies, pretzels, PB & J sandwiches, and pizza. Ugh! There are of course healthy versions of these, but that’s not what I was sending. What I sent simply set them up for a mid-day crash and didn’t support their brains for learning. No more! Our kids deserve better!
Make it fun! Incorporate roll-ups, pinwheels, shish kebobs, wraps, puzzle sandwiches, charcuterie boards, soups, stews, dips, and even leftovers.
Of course, along with the food, send them with plenty of water or herb tea to keep them hydrated. For an extra treat, infuse water with fruit. Make by the pitcher to keep your morning routine simple.
Having a plan is the most important step and will increase your level of success. Get your kids involved to ignite their commitment. Make sure you have a good supply of each of the necessary macronutrients that your kids need; protein, fat, carbohydrates.
You’ll find that their favorites will make a weekly showing on your list. That’s OK but mix it up as much as you can. To avoid food sensitivities, it’s best to rotate foods and not feed them the same thing for 3 to 4 days.
Every meal and snack should have a balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbs. Shop to ensure you have plenty to pull from in each category.
Erase the low-fat advice that you’ve been given over the last couple of decades. Brains need healthy fat, especially growing brains! A shopping list is attached below for your convenience.
3. Organize by Macros
Organize your refrigerator and pantry by macros if possible. When time to make lunches (the night before sets you up for a smoother morning), pull from each category. Your kids will become savvy lunch makers once they understand the routine. Nutritional meals with balanced macros provide energy, satiety, and focus.
Consider running your vegetable and fruit choices through the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 lists from ewg.org. Avoid the most toxic produce by staying away from conventionally grown items on the Dirty Dozen list and buying organic as your budget allows, or make another choice. Buy seasonally as much as you can too. Seasonal produce is usually cheaper and fresher.