Tips for Planning Healthy Kids’ Lunches
You may be able to plan your lunches fairly easily. You have a wide range of foods you can and will eat, and you may be willing to try new things. The trick is when it comes to planning your child’s lunch. It becomes especially tricky if your child has food allergies, is picky, or has to be on specific diets that are different from yours. If this sounds like your situation, and you are about to give up on creating a menu plan for your children, consider these tips to help you.
You don’t want to overcomplicate your kids lunches. You also don’t want to go gourmet on them. Try to stick to something simple for their lunch that can easily be repeated over the course of the week with some minor changes. For example, start with flavored greek yogurt and fruit. This gives them something sweet, but also gets fruit into their system. It also gives them active cultures and probiotics from the yogurt to help with digestion. Add a protein to the mix and you have something filling that can get them through their lunch.
Make Minor Changes
You may be wondering how you will get the right nutrients into the lunch without putting in food your child will not eat. Consider making minor changes that you notice, but your kid won’t. For example, if you go with peanut butter switch to a nutrient enhanced or fortified nut butter. Instead of regular yogurt, go with a greek yogurt to boost their protein intake and B-vitamin intake. Instead of regular juice, that can contain a high amount of sugar, go with an organic fruit smoothie. If milk is the drink of the day, consider a nut based organic milk instead.
Record Likes and Dislikes
The most important thing to planning healthy lunches for your children is to record what works and what does not. A great way to do this is to write down lunches and keep each lunch plan on file in an app or on index cards. If your kids like it, then keep it. If they don’t like certain aspects, then note that and make changes. If they hate the meal, then toss out the card and do not repeat it. This will help you with meal planning in the future and help you stick to what your kids like. It will also help you narrow down allergies or figure out what your kids may eat if you need to make healthy changes and adjustments.
By incorporating these tips, you can increase the chances of making a solid rotating meal plan that will work for your children’s lunches. Once you figure out what meals work, you can work on future meal plans and help reduce your food bills and your stress.
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