School Lunch Ideas for Kids
Summer is over and school is starting and you are wondering how you can make your child’s lunch more nutritious and fun for them to eat. Years ago more kids ate cold lunch and hot lunch wasn’t available to the kids who couldn’t afford lunch. Once the Department of Agriculture set the standard income for families of one, more children were able to eat hot lunch at school. Although parents knew their kids would have one good meal a day, the food was not necessarily nutritious and was higher in fat, therefore, creating the obesity generations that continued on since the ’80s. Technology didn’t help matters and either did all the violence that started happening in schools. Students started to miss recess and Phy Ed was only required one semester out of the school year instead of three times a week all year long. Now parents have to think about how to keep the calories low and the food healthy. Here are some ideas for school lunches.
Parents can use little ziplock containers and fill their kid’s containers with all kinds of fresh goodies. If your child likes meat try turkey, roast beef, or ham roll-ups, add in some fresh berries, their favorite yogurt and some trail mix.
- Some kids like hummus on pita bread, add a few grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and some sliced oranges.
- You can always try a cheese quesadilla with guacamole, some salsa and tortilla chips.
- Throw in a few strawberries for some fruit for your child.
- Try different types of deli meat, add some red pepper slices, apples and fruit roll-ups or fruit snacks, and some cheese curds and make some kabobs.
- Try hard boiled eggs, baby carrots, and ranch dressing, with pretzels and some peaches or applesauce.
- Pasta salad is great along with yogurt a granola bar and some raspberries.
- Substitute almond butter and add jelly, put in some string cheese, a fruit cup, and some sun chips.
- Crackers are always good along with cheddar cheese cubes, grapes and a protein bar like a Larabar or a Cliff bar.
- Kids always like bagels and cream cheese, a yogurt, baby carrots and a pack of fruit snacks.
- Try some veggie wraps with hummus, some Edamame or snaps peas, a clementine orange along with a granola bar.
Parents are using foods like Pita bread, hummus. Cheese, crackers, turkey, cheese rollups, almond butter and jam sandwiches, cheese quesadilla, hard boiled eggs, pasta salad, meat and cheese kabobs, chips and guacamole, ham and cheese sandwiches, bagels and cream cheese and veggie and hummus wraps for the main meal for their kid’s lunch.
Choose oranges, apples, strawberries, grapes, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, natural applesauce, mangoes, melon, baby carrots, cucumbers, grape tomatoes, edamame and snap peas for fruits and vegetables.
Snacks that are healthy are chips, granola bars, pretzels, string cheese, yogurt, Trail mix, Larabar and Cliff Bar, fruit leather, fruit snacks, popcorn, crackers, fruit cups, pudding cups, graham crackers, cookies, and Rice Krispie treats.
You can mix and match any of these combinations but the sugar is low, the calories are low and the energy from these foods are healthy and high. They can always drink milk and juice if they are lactose intolerant. There is also almond milk, soy milk and rice milk available for kids that have problems with lactose.
Water bottles are great along with Capri Suns, Bolthouse Smoothies, and Strawberry and Chocolate Milk.
There are three and four container lunch kits that are available on the market so your child’s lunch stays separated into compartments. Most kids like to have their food separated so they have three compartment Bento Lunch Box Containers and they come in a set of four.
There are many ideas to create healthy school lunches. There are pizza bagels you can make yourself, you can cut up all kinds of melons into cubes and put the cubed fruit into containers in their lunch pack. Send some granola with their greek yogurt and surprise them with a banana and some carrots. Kids don’t have to have a sandwich every day for lunch. Some kids are picky eaters and love Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but try changing it up with preserves or homemade jam. This can really make a sandwich delicious. If you have time, try making your own bread and a jam sandwich is great on whole wheat homemade bread.
Tuna is another good protein food and is good on a bagel with some fruit snacks, chips, and a few baby carrots. There are so many ways you can mix and match these foods up together. Keep your cupboards full so you won’t have to worry about running to the store when you run out of something for your child’s lunch. You can always become creative with last night’s dinner and add some pitted olives in your child’s lunch bundle as well.
These good nutritious lunches will give your child that extra boost to be able to catch their second wind to finish off the rest of their day. Remember many of these students are up by 6 am and on the bus until after 4 pm so they need a bit of nutrition to keep going and conquer their day. Kids poop out easier in the afternoon and become tired and light headed if they don’t have the right foods. Make sure they have a snack for the bus ride home because they are running on empty after a ten hour day. Your child will be thrilled if you switch up their lunch on a daily basis because they will love the little surprises you have put in their lunch. It’s the little things and extra time that parents do and take in life that makes their children feel special.
When they bring home that A on their test, they have brought these grades home for your approval and without a healthy meal, they won’t be able to concentrate as easily in the afternoon. Make sure they are full when you pack these lunches and add a few boxes of raisins and craisins for some extra energy. Growing kids are always hungry and they won’t crash as much without sugar as they would with sugar so it’s better to follow these ideas for nutritious snacks and foods for school lunches. This way you know your kids won’t be hungry at school.