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10 Solutions for a Healthier Lunchbox
As parents, we know that providing a healthy lunch is a vital part of a positive school experience. Here are ten simple solutions for packing a lunch you’ll feel great about.
1. Include Lean Protein: Lean protein is the perfect start to a healthy lunch. Protein provides the essential amino acids our bodies need to stay energized, focused, and satiated. Protein can be found in a variety of lunchbox friendly and children acceptable forms ranging from dairy, to meat, to legumes. Low fat yogurt and part skim string cheese go over well with children who like dairy. Substitute a smear of hummus for mayonnaise in their sandwich to add a tasty change to their lunch. Add a handful of raw almonds for an easy portable snack.
2. Provide Healthy Alternatives to Homemade: When you want to add quick & easy prepared lunch options to your child’s menu and homemade isn't an option, choose healthy, natural alternatives your child will love. YoCrunch® has provided a unique solution with their YoCrunch® multipacks. The included 4oz YoCrunch® yogurts are just the right size to be a perfect addition to any lunchbox.
3. Avoid Sugar: Whether making homemade or buying packaged foods, avoid offerings with large amounts of sugar. Sugar reduces concentration, immune system response and makes it harder for a child to stay healthy and focused.
4. Provide Healthy Drinks: Drinks are one of the most important elements in a healthy lunchbox. Offer plenty of water or iced herbal teas to keep the kids feeling refreshed. Add a small amount of juice for a treat. Avoid drinks that include added sugars or artificial ingredients.
5. Go Organic: We all know that organic options are best whenever possible. Try to select fruits, vegetables, and other foods that are free of chemical pesticides. When buying organic is simply not an option, wash all produce well before serving.
6. Get Creative: Creating a healthy lunchbox that the kids will be proud of may seem daunting, but a little creativity goes a long way. Let the kids build their own lunches with make your own tacos, a selection of homemade dips, or fruit and veggies in funny shapes. Also consider using leftover dinner items for an especially fast and creative lunchbox solution.
7. Create a Menu: Sit down with the kids and create a lunch menu everyone agrees on. Make a list of recipes and shop for the wholesome, natural ingredients together. Take the opportunity to give your kids an extra special lesson in making healthy choices.
8: Plan Ahead: Planning ahead for a healthy lunchbox is crucial to making it work. Create a family routine of menu planning, shopping, preparing, and cleanup that fits everyone’s schedule. Involve the whole family so that one person doesn’t feel overwhelmed.
9. Use Reusable: In addition to healthy foods, a safe lunchbox is essential. Choose eco-friendly food safe packaging that can be used again and again. Reusable lunchboxes with different sections for various foods, and that include a water bottle, will make packing, cleaning and reusing easy.
10: Listen to Your Child: Take time to communicate with your child about what healthy options she or he would enjoy having in their lunchbox. Try to find common ground around important topics of contention so that everyone will feel positive about the new healthy lunch routine.
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