Our boys have never purchased lunches. Having a child with a dairy allergy, it was never a possibility for us. We made do with choices we thought were healthy and filling. After 2 years of learning about our bodies and our nutritional choices… I feel like I am back to the drawing board.
My new refusal to buy lunch meat has put a wrench in our lunch choices. If my husband wants to prepare and eat chicken once in a while that is up to him, but I am finally putting my food down about deli meats.
So, where does that leave us? Even for kids, there is a limit to how many peanut butter and jelly sandwiches they can consume before boredom comes knocking.
Our boys are amazing eaters, so school lunch was never a concern. A sandwich, two healthy snacks and a drink. Now I have a 12 year old experimenting with plant-based eating, a 10 year old who doesn’t seem far behind on that path, and an 8 year old who could case less as long as he is fed.
I decided we need to get creative, but not perfectionist Pinterest-Mom creative… I have my limits! First we invested in better lunchboxes AND mini ice-packs. Then, we brainstormed. A few of my suggestions left our 12 year old saying, “You’d be willing to do that for me?!”
Of course I would, but you WILL help prepare meals!
If you are looking for ideas for your kids (or even new ideas for yourself) scan the internet. There are a lot of fabulous ideas that you can tweak to fit your families taste-buds and eating styles. Here is a short list of ideas that looked pleasing to our kids and should be fairly easy for us to prep beforehand.
Cold Soba Noodles with sliced peppers
Peanut butter and banana (or apple) wraps
Sliced veggies and hummus
Healthy mini muffins
Quinoa tossed with beans and veggies
Cold fried rice
Because I am only human, we also keep a lot of snacks on hand for school as well. Consider having options for your kids to make their own trail mix. This is a favorite with our boys. The nuts and seeds they toss with their pretzels and dried fruit are so healthy and filling. Above all else, read the labels. I don’t stress too much about the word sugar (our boys are active and great eaters/sleepers). I DO try to avoid high fructose corn syrup and such whenever possible.
I hope this school year is a year of growth and health for all of you and the kids in your lives. May we all continue to live, love, laugh and learn.