If your kids think a homemade school lunch is boredom in a box, it’s time to start treating it like a daily picnic. Here’s the challenge: you want to provide nourishing lunches and the kids would rather play than eat. Or worse, they trade your lovingly-packed meal for a sugary cupcake. What’s a parent to do?

Get the Kids Involved

  • Let the kids play with their food: dipping fruit, vegetables, crackers, or bread in sauces; assembling bite-size cheese and cracker sandwiches; or making tiny fruit kabobs on toothpicks.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables small and easy to eat: grapes, cherries, small plums, blueberries, melon cubes, baby carrots, cucumber slices, bell pepper strips and lightly steamed or blanched broccoli florets.
  • Get them involved with planning and making lunches because they’re more likely to eat it if they helped pack it. After all, you won’t be there to lay down the “three more bites before you can leave the table” law.

Variety is the Spice of Lunch

  • Include enough range to keep your kids from getting bored, but don’t be surprised if they settle on a few favorites and request them week after week. Kids like to have a few familiar, comforting things nearby when they are away from home.
  • Give them some choices from each food group, and allow them to mix and match for a nutritionally balanced lunch.
  • Beyond sliced bread, try crackers, pita bread, naan, corn bread, English muffins, tortillas, baked tortilla chips, mini bagels, or lettuce wraps.
  • For protein, there’s good ol’ peanut butter, but the kids might also enjoy hummus, bean dip, sliced cheese, yogurt, cold cuts, tuna salad, pasta salad, egg salad, or a thermos full of chili.
  • When serving tuna, egg, chicken, or pasta salad, mix in shredded carrots, apples, zucchini, bell peppers, raisins, nuts–anything to add nutrition and fiber without adding lots of empty calories.

Lunch Tips

  • About food safety: lightweight, freezable cold packs or frozen juice boxes enable you to send the kids to school with perishables such as pasta salad, egg salad, meat sandwiches, yogurt, tuna, etc.
  • Get your kids into the habit of washing their hands before eating. Include antibacterial hand wipes if that’s what it takes.
  • Make lunches the night before to ease the morning rush out the door.
  • Reusable lunchboxes are earth-friendly and save the expense of brown bags, but be sure to wash them out frequently.
  • You’ve heard this one before, but a little note from you tucked into a lunch once in a while is a comfort. Keep notes small enough so kids don’t have to haul out a long, loving letter from home in front of the rest of the lunchroom.
  • When you pack nutritious lunches you know your kids will love, you might even feel okay about slipping a cookie or a brownie into the bag!

Compiments of AllRecipes.com

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Jennifer McCallum

Thank you so much for stopping by this page to get to know a bit more about me and why I started Parent Guide Inc.

My business story started a way back in 2001…

…after the birth of my first daughter, I realized that an "all-in-one" resource guide for parents was needed, and fast! I designed the New Parent Resource Guide to fill a gap in the community for busy parents like myself. The New Parent Resource Guide offers an A-Z of key contacts for parents, caregivers, service providers, and health care professionals.  Working with key businesses and organizations in the community, we have also compiled much-needed articles, tips, and charts to answer all your parenting questions.

The latest addition to our family is the School Age Resource Guide to serve parents of children, 3 to 18 years!  This guide answers questions about: nutrition, bullying, curriculum, building self-esteem, and much more, as well as offering a full directory of local and national resources.

The Parentguide.ca website offers an “all-in-one” spot for parents to connect, add their own blog, and find needed resources in their community.  It is a site that educates and entertains and if you can't find somthing just ASK me.

I am here to serve YOU!  My hope is that you connect with our members, find comfort in their words, and share your own story. My goal is to see what I can do to help make life a bit easier for you.   You are why I do what I do!

I can’t wait to get to know you!  Comment below to tell me about yourself – then start blogging so we can find out what makes you get up in the morning!  Check out my blog too and I am sure you will be surprised what gets me out of bed each day!!!

Jennifer –  Mom and Publisher

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