By the time August has arrived, you’re probably eager to send your kids back to school. Not only does the start of school mean more time to yourself, but the kids can no longer complain of being bored, the front door will stay shut and bugs will stop flying into the house. You will no longer have to hear arguments over the TV channel or who gets the last popsicle. More importantly, the house will be quiet and you’ll be able to resume life as “normal.”
While you may be excited about the start of school, your child may feel the anxiety of starting a new routine. To help ease the discomfort, I’ve shared five healthy lunch ideas that will ensure your child receives all of the nutrients they need to feel their best and stay focused (I’ve also provided FREE Lunch Love Notes below). The following meal ideas include minimally processed foods that offer a variety of carbs, fat and protein to ensure your child is properly fueled with foods they’ll actually enjoy eating.
It’s important that children (and adults) get enough macronutrients. What are macronutrients? You may hear them commonly referred to as “macros;” they consist of carbohydrates, protein and fats. Each plays a critical role in bodily functions and growth. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source and should make up between 45% and 65% of a diet. Protein is required to repair and regenerate tissues and cells, while supporting the immune system and hormone health. While fats have a bad reputation, they are essential for brain development and cell functioning. Fats help your body absorb the vitamins from food.
Every kid loves pizza, right? Make it fun and portable by melting mozzarella cheese onto a tortilla. Roll it up and cut into slices.
Hummus Packed Pita
Tired of cutting off (and wasting) sandwich crusts? Pick up some pitas and pack them with hummus. Hummus is high in protein and fiber. Add shredded carrots, cucumber slices and other kid-friendly veggies like broccoli and cauliflower.
A cold quinoa salad is a convenient option that you can make in bulk. Consider mixing the quinoa with honey and raisins one day, then with a vinaigrette, corn, black beans and salsa the next day. Quinoa is a great, gluten-free source of protein and fiber.
Add variety to your child’s meals by creating a brunch meal of hard boiled eggs, pancakes and sausages. Eggs are rich in vitamin D and protein. For your sweet tooth sweetie, be sure to include some fresh strawberries or a banana.
Nut Butter and Banana Sushi
Almost every kid will love this kind of sushi! Choose their favorite nut butter and spread a thin layer onto a tortilla. Peel a banana and place it at the edge of the wrap, slowly rolling it up. Trim the edges off and then slice into sushi-sized pieces. Nut butters are full of healthy fats and will help your child’s body absorb nutrients while keeping them full.