School supplies are bought. Wardrobe got an upgrade. Calendar is updated. There’s still that daily nuisance of getting lunch ready every single school day. The struggle is real. Here are a few helpful tips to fill your child’s belly with food that doesn’t require cookie cutters or a culinary degree.
1. Quality supplies: Baggies® are awesome– until you run out. Invest in some quality reusable containers like Rubbermaid’s LunchBlox® or a “bento” box– a single container divided into compartments. Buy once and use it for years. If you want to expand your child’s lunch options, purchase a Thermos® container for hot foods. Let your child practice opening the containers before school starts to minimize spilled food!
2. Start simple: You know what your child likes. Each day, pack one or two (non-dessert) foods that your child is guaranteed to eat. Choose something healthy like PB&J, hummus or a favorite fruit.
3. Add the other food groups: Think of your five fingers– protein, whole grain carbohydrates, fruit, vegetable and a drink. Carbs and proteins are easy. Many kids gobble fruit without complaint. Veggies can be a little trickier. Frozen peas make an easy finger food. Carrots or sliced cucumber with ranch dressing are often popular with young diners.
4. Think color and texture: Naturally colorful food tends to be healthy. And combining different textures can make familiar foods more interesting or encourage picky eaters to try something new. Try nuts with raisins for a salty/sweet and crunchy/chewy combo.
5. Prep: Take a whole food (like an entire cantaloupe or a block of cheese) and cut it into bite-size pieces or single-serving size. If you have enough containers, simply divide and fill each one. Grab one each morning to making packing super easy!