Packing your child's lunch ensures that they will enjoy a healthy meal while at school. However, it is sometimes a challenge to break out of the sandwich mold and offer kids something different to eat. Here are some healthy alternatives to traditional sandwiches.
Cold Lunches (include an ice pack so items stay fresh)
- deli meat rolls, cheese chunks and whole grain crackers
- pasta salad
- mixed green salads with your child's favorite toppings
- string cheese, whole grain muffin and fruit salad
- left-over pizza
- wraps made with whatever sandwich fixings your child likes
- finger food such as veggies and dip, cheese and pretzels
Hot Lunches (packed in a a thermos)
- soup, chili or stew
- tacos (meat in thermos, shell or tortilla and other toppings in the lunchbox)
- nitrate and nitrite-free hot dog
- leftover pasta or mac and cheese
- home-made chicken nuggets (or veggie nuggets)
- rice and veggies
Many thermos users recommend pre-heating the thermos by putting hot water in it prior to putting hot food in it. Simply fill the thermos full of hot water while preparing/heating food. When the food is ready, empty the water out of the thermos and replace it with hot food.
For a balanced meal make sure to include healthy snacks such as fruit, raw veggies, granola bars as well as a reusable water bottle for your child to stay hydrated throughout the day.