Although I don't have children of my own yet, I was inspired by Whole Foods of Charlotte's theme this week, Back to School. As opposed to the usual recipe I develop, I've decided to share a few tips on keeping school lunches balanced, light and most importantly nutritious so your little one can give each day all they've got.
Keeping lunch nutritiously-packed is as simple as keeping it "CLEAN." Let me break it down for you:
Colorful; a lunchbox should be colorful. By that I don't mean many colored wrappers; as humans we eat with our eyes first, so try to include as many raw fruits and veggies as you can find. Baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, raw sugar snap peas are a few of my personal faves; add a couple tablespoons of homemade or store-bought hummus to the mix for an extra dose of fiber, vitamin C and protein!
Note: I added delicious color, fiber and protein to lunch today by making these baby kabobs. They're as simple as sliding a grape tomato, small ball of mozzarella and a cube of cantaloupe to a skewer. They're the perfect mix of salty and sweet!
Lean meats; developing minds and bodies depend on protein for productivity. There are only 55 calories in two "very thin" slices of ham, and the extra 6 grams of protein goes a long way, so feel free to load that wrap or sandwich up with plenty!
Energy is key; I absolutely love Square Bars for this. They're chocolatey and absolutely delicious, so try popping one into your child's lunch. If they're on the younger side, I'd recommend cutting it in half and into tiny pieces, it'll be easier to eat that way.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away; this old adage remains true! By popping a small apple (or a few slices) in your child's lunch each day, you'll do wonders for their teeth, digestion and so much more.
No repeats. Variety is the spice of life; so try and make tweaks to lunch boxes each day.
And that's it! Although this is by no means a definitive guide on children's lunches, it's a great place to start. I'd also love to field comments from you reader, on how you keep your child's lunches fresh, fun and tasty.
Until next time! Bon appetit y'all,