Hello Zesty readers! My name is Danielle from FoodConfidence.com. I’m a Registered Dietitian and I help busy families navigate their lives with food confidence.
It’s been a few weeks now since school started…how’s your child’s lunch box looking? Is the food you’re packing getting gobbled up or traded out for a tastier snack? Let’s freshen things up with a few zesty ideas to keep your little ones happy and satisfied all day.
But first, we don’t want to forget breakfast! Wake your kids early enough so they get a high protein, high fiber meal before school. Since many schools are now “nut-free” zones, why not enjoy this kid-favorite for breakfast? Start the day with peanut butter spread on 100% whole wheat toast and top with sliced bananas (a drizzle of honey can’t hurt, either). The fat, protein and fiber in this combination will surely keep your little one full until lunch. Another great option is buttered whole wheat toast with a hard-boiled egg. Serve both of these with a cold glass of milk.
When it comes to lunch, you want this meal to have staying power. Don’t go light! Some kids eat lunch so early they’re starving when they get home. Make sure to balance your choices by including high fiber grains, lean protein, and some healthy fat.
Here are 10 simple ideas to build a filling, satisfying, and balanced lunch:
- Freeze cheese sticks, yogurt cups or high fiber muffins (they will thaw just in time for lunch)
- Mix up your own trail mix with dried fruit, cereal, pretzels, banana chips, soy nuts, sunflower/pumpkin seeds, mini chocolate chips, or flaked coconut.
- Hummus with chopped veggies (buy a pre-cut veggie tray from the grocery store and refill each week)
- Assemble homemade “Lunchables” with sliced cheese, whole wheat crackers and deli meat
- Mini-meals (bake meatloaf, quiche, or mac & cheese in muffin/cupcake tins)
- Create pizza roll-ups using whole wheat tortillas
- Alternate fruit, cheese, and veggies on mini skewers using toothpicks
- Spread mini bagels with cream cheese mixed with finely grated red peppers, zucchini, or carrots
- Instead of chips, pack a side of Edamame (soybeans in the pod)
Thanks Danielle for a very informative post. I have been getting these emails for a while lately on healthy snacks for both kids and adults so it is great to see a compiled list for everyone to share. Have a great Wednesday and I will talk to you on Friday