Whether you love having your kids home for summer or are looking forward to the start of school, most parents find making lunches a bit of a chore. Without fresh ideas, lunches can get a bit repetitive and pretty soon your child is bringing home the majority of what you sent with them.
So what can you do?
First, involve your child in making their lunch! You are likely to get more buy-in and your kids are more likely to eat their lunch if they help with making it or with the grocery shopping for the ingredients.
Making sure you have everything on hand saves a lot of time, too. You may need ice packs to keep items cold, enough reusable containers for the foods you want to send, and a water bottle for sending water to drink. If you have extra food at supper, packing it up into lunch-sized portions right after supper saves time and makes lunch prep easy!
Need some inspiration for ideas? Here are some tried and true ideas to mix and match.
- Sandwich, wrap, roti or pita stuffed with meat, cheese, egg, tuna, peanut butter*, jam, vegetables and/or hummus.
- Chili, stew, perogies, soup, samosas, pasta salad
- Dinner leftovers (look for a meat (chicken, fish, pork) or alternative; vegetable; and grain, potato, or pasta)
- Waffles/pancakes or muffin
- Cereal and milk
- Quiche; scrambled or hard-boiled eggs
- Cracker and cheese; tortilla
- Yogurt and granola
- Kebabs (meat, cheese, vegetable)
If you base a lunch around including a source of protein, a fruit and/or vegetable, a carbohydrate, and some fat, you will have made a great, nutritious lunch!
For school snack ideas visit Nutrition 411.
*Due to allergies, some schools do not allow peanut butter. Alternatives such as Wowbutter® may be allowed.
About Rebecca Larson
Rebecca works in Vanderhoof and the surrounding communities as a dietitian. She was born in the north and returned after her schooling. Rebecca loves tobogganing with her daughter in the winter, gardening and camping in the summer and working on her parents cattle ranch in her spare time.