The Healthy Lunchbox

Summer is over and school is in full swing. Moms know what that means ….. PACKING LUNCH BOXES ….. UGHHHHH! This throws many of us into a state of panic. The combination of early mornings, a lack of time, AND the desire to pack a lunch that is interesting, tasty, nutritious, and not going to come back home unwrapped and untouched can be just too much to contemplate five days a week. Multiply that by the number of kids you have and you have just exponentially created a crisis large enough to call in the National Guard for back-up assistance! Because of this, mothers easily slip into a hopeless rut when filling lunchboxes. However; with a little forward planning you can be inspired to effortlessly create and pack a delicious, nutritious lunch!

We all know that lunch is important for everyone, but particularly for children, because they have high energy requirements for their size. It is so important for them to receive nutrient-dense foods in small, but regular amounts in order to keep their little bodies and minds working at their best. There is a plethora of academic and medical evidence that suggests a correlation between a child’s diet and academic performance. The evidence shows that kids with a poor diet are more likely to have problems with concentration, memory recall, and irritability. Additionally, it has been widely documented and known in the medical community that poor diets increase ANY individual’s susceptibility to colds and other illnesses. By contrast, children who have consistently healthy diets have more energy, improved learning and a lower obesity rate.

So, let’s start with a basic rule: When you’re preparing a big meal (like an evening dinner), make extra to send in lunch boxes. Left-over meats make for great wraps and also go well over a fresh salad! It give kids a break from the “everyday sandwich” that they see staring back at them lunch, after lunch. See the following dinner recipe and how you can use left-overs for lunchboxes. Then stay tuned for part 2: Strategies for planning ahead and offering variety. Happy lunchbox packing!

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