Another school year is starting and another year of school lunches to shop for, prep, and pack. We haven't even started school, and the sound of this makes me exhausted. But don't stress; we have you covered to simplify back to school lunches!
Our dietitians are parents too, and we know how much work it takes to keep our little ones fed. These are the top tips that we use for school lunch planning to reduce stress for the entire family.
📚 Get your kids involved in what goes in their lunches!
Don't let your kids be surprised when they open up their lunch kits, get them involved in making decisions, and packing their lunch. No, they don't get to pick whatever. As parents, we still decide what will go in our kids' lunches (Division of Responsibility), but we can offer choices. For example: ask them if they want yogurt or cheese, apple or orange. They feel like they get to decide, but you were the one that picked the choices. Win! Win!
📚 Get a bento box to simplify how to organize foods.
Bento Boxes are perfect for organizing different foods to make them appealing for your littles. Ellie loves hers as you can see! This is not a requirement by any means but it can be super helpful. Organizing your kids' food can help them clearly see what options they have to eat, and it also cuts down on the need for your kids to open food items or ask for help, which can really impact their intake.
📚 Pack at least 5 different things from all 4 different food groups!
All our food groups provide different nutrients offering something from each will ensure that our kids are getting proper nutrition.
1 meat or alternative
1 dairy or alternative
Check out our No Nut Trail Mix recipe for a simple school lunch idea.
📚 Add a sweet for your little sweeties!
It is ok to send something special for your little one! Add in some chocolate chips to a nut-free trail mix (above) or send one of their favourite cookies. Another great choice is our Energy Balls - grab the recipe here. Pop a few of these into their lunch for an easy and nutritious snack option.
With these simple back to school lunch strategies, you'll reduce your stress, and your kids will love their school lunches all year long.