Healthy Lunch Options
Here is my plan of attack: we are going to go big, go healthy but NOT so my son Mac knows it’s good for him. When it comes to healthy lunches for kids, I am all for sneaking things in and providing healthy lunch options.
Until I hit a stride with this lunch packing situation you are going to hear about it! I know, I know you are probably thinking it’s just a lunch, place the food in one of the brown paper lunch bags and get over it, but as someone in the food industry it’s just a little more pressure than that.
While I know my son Mac will never stand on top of his lunchroom chair and declare he has the best mom because of my lunch making ability, but I don’t want people to see what my little picky eater is getting packed in his school lunches and think I’m not feeding him well enough. Perhaps this is just a mom thing – the worrying and all.
Here is my plan of attack: we are going to go big, go healthy but NOT so Mac knows it’s good for him. When it comes to healthy lunches for kids, I am all for sneaking things in and providing healthy lunch options.
My Healthy Lunch Options
—Hummus. I can use this as a spread on his sandwich versus mayonnaise or mustard. It will keep the sandwich moist while being a little bit better for him than his other options. Plus, he helps me make it so I know he’ll be able to brag to his classmates (provided he can remember what it is called) Hummus is also a great dips for fresh veggies and because it’s not a nut base it is street legal in school. Here’s my Hummus Recipe that Mac loves to help me prepare.
—Roasted Grapes. Roasted grapes are perhaps one of the easiest things to make and keep in your refrigerator. I use them instead of jelly or jams. After being cooked, the grapes become naturally sweet and tender enough to spread. Jelly usually has so much sugar - this is just fresh fruit without your little guys knowing they are eating something good for them! Grapes are great and easy but you can always roast strawberries, blueberries, or any other juicy fruit! Here’s the Roasted Grapes Recipe.
—Cover it in Cheese. Mac will eat anything in a quesadilla form. This is the best way for me to sneak in anything good for him. Pack it with crispy veggies or sweet fruit, cover with cheese, and toast for an amazingly easy, healthy lunch.
—Hide the Candy. Last Halloween, we stuffed Sour Patch Kids in the middle of strawberries (we called it Strawberry Surprise) and then topped with fresh whipped cream. If Mac even for a second thinks he is going to find candy in the middle of something, he will eat it. He traditionally doesn’t like strawberries, but he will like them if he can find a special treat in the middle – consider it my way of making sure he gets his fruit intake without having to stand over him and monitor the situation.
—Pack a Good Drink. We pretty much only drink water in our household. This isn’t because we feel strongly against juice or milk but just because it’s the easiest option. One choice I always know for sure is that Mac is going to get a water bottle with lunch. At least I know he’ll be well hydrated and still eat his lunch. I know that the chances are good if the day ever comes and I send him to school with chocolate milk, surely the rest of his lunch will be coming home with him too.
As I mentioned above, this is not the first of my blog entries about packing lunches – this whole concept is so new to me and I want to get it right for my little guy. Be sure to check out: Sack Lunch Ideas and Making Sandwiches: What I Consider.
Be sure to check out our Foodies’ Night In discussion about Packing the Perfect Lunch: What’s In Your Lunchbox.