Another September – What Are You Sending For Lunch?
Here we go again! Another school year, another ten months of packing lunches. I don’t know about you, but it can be such a struggle in our house! It’s been the basis of some pretty heated arguments between my hubby and I. Who’s making the lunches, what is appropriate to send and what is actually allowed in the school lunches. There are likes and dislikes, allergies to consider (not necessarily just your child’s allergies) and the rules of the school to think of.
It is repeatedly said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but as a mom, I know immediately when I pick my children up from school if lunch was a hit or a miss that day. On days where lunch wasn’t eaten there are emotions, attitude and the full out “hangries” show up just as the car door closes and we’re on our way home! I wonder if there isn’t enough time for them to eat. Are they too distracted? Whatever it is, the struggle is real!
So, what do you send for lunch? Traditionally school lunches were a sandwich, an apple and some cookies. At least that’s the consensus from what my clients tell me as well as what I remember. My children, however, do NOT do sandwiches, for whatever reason, they just never caught on in my house. Snacks have always been a hit though, so now we have a “snack” lunch everyday! We use the bento box idea and fill lunches with little snacks which more often than not get eaten!
To ensure those little bellies are filled and their blood sugar stays balanced I like to make sure we start with protein. Snack foods means finger foods. Hard boiled eggs are fun, we slice them and dice them, my little one loves them deviled! Pulled meat, meat balls or some natural sliced sausage is easy with a little dipping sauce like mustard or BBQ sauce. If your children aren’t into meat, there are other options like quinoa patties or chickpea patties that are delicious and fun for dipping too!
Next we add the vegetables. Chopped up veggies are a must with all their nutrients and fiber to keep those bellies feeling full longer. But how do we get the kiddos to actually eat them? I highly recommend hummus or a homemade dip. Hummus is great because it’s full of calcium and magnesium. Two minerals that growing children need and can be difficult to get. The dip can also be a great source of healthy fat which again slows down digestion and balances blood sugar helping with concentration and focus.
Fruit is also a great addition for a little sweet dessert. It’s best to not over do it as I have found my girls will just eat the fruit and leave the rest. Sticking to some of the lower glycemic fruits like apples and juicy berries helps ensure that they get lots of vitamins and feel like they are getting a sweet treat.
Presentation is everything for those picky distracted eaters to focus on lunch. That’s where the bento box idea comes in. Each food is separated. They can build themselves a wrap or sandwich or eat it separate. They can pick at one food at a time or mix them up. This gives them options and choices and let’s them decided, which puts them in control. The options for each day are limitless. As my girls have been getting older, I have involved them in the process of making lunches. This allows them to choose what they get to eat so I don’t get the excuse of not liking their lunch. We also make lunches right after dinner to cut down on the morning chaos. It’s just a matter of packing them into backpacks.
Want to get your children even healthier? Are you dealing with picky eaters? Could you use some support figuring out what foods you could add to your everyday to get your family healthier? Curious about how health coaching can help you make healthy changes for the whole family? Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about! Visit www.noshoesnutrition.com and sign up for a FREE consultation. I work with people from all over the world individually or in groups so don’t let anything hold you back!