What do I pack for the kids?? This is the question that used to haunt me everyday about ½ hour before we were supposed to leave the house for school.
I think most of us who are parents or caregivers, want to feel like we’re giving our kids clean fuel to keep them happy and energized. But we also need to know that after we’ve spent the money on groceries and gone through the effort of packing a wholesome and well thought out meal, that those little stinkers are actually going to eat it!
Well, I can’t promise you a secret formula, but as a Mom who’s also a Nutritionist (poor kids,) after much research and trial and error, here’s what’s worked for me and my small humans. I hope you can find something here to make your life easier and your kids’ bodies and minds a little more nutrified.
- I taught my kids when they were 5 and 11 that a healthy lunch included a protein, a fruit, a vegetable and a fun thing. We drew a picture of a round plate split into 4 sections, that we posted in the pantry. We brainstormed some of their favorite foods in each category and they got to draw examples for each category. (See our list below)
Protein: Uncured salami (with no nitrates,) turkey rolls with cream cheese or grass-fed cheddar slices inside, whole wheat bagel with cream cheese, roasted chicken legs, rice cakes with almond butter and drizzled with honey
Fruit: Apples, peaches, watermelon, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, smoothies in a thermos, bananas with almond butter or peanut butter, fresh figs, no sugar added dried fruit (try our Mariani Simply Dried Mango and Pineapple, or our Probiotic Prunes for a sweet dose probiotics to support their immune system.)
Vegetable: baby carrots, celery cut in moon shapes, red bell pepper slices with hummus, carrots cut into flowers with a vegetable cutter, baby bell peppers, half a corn of cob from the night before smothered in grass-fed butter and sea salt, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, baby gem lettuce with mustard and a slice of cheese all rolled up
Fun things: Gluten-free pretzels, popcorn, fruit gummies. Stores like Trader Joe’s often have m&m style chocolate candies with natural dyes. (They look like pastel m&m’s and taste the same…at least to a health food junkie nutritionist. 😉) baby marshmallows, dark chocolate with mint, candy cane white chocolate.
I hope this helps. Enjoy!
From our family to yours,