There are two camps of thought; 1) a brown bag lunch from home is healthier than cafeteria food, 2) changes in cafeteria food make it healthier than what Mom’s packs from home. There are many internet articles to support both claims but ultimately you’re going to do what’s best for you and your kids.
Today, we’ll focus on lunch from home. How can we pack a lunch for ourselves and our kids that is nutritious, fun, and not boring? Let’s face it, what’s good for our kids is also good for us. Let’s focus on moving away from a basic sandwich, chips, carrots, and cookie. Let’s talk “bento-esque” lunches.
Small portions of a variety of interesting lunch items will keep your kids interested in lunch and avoid the “swap” of something they don’t like. How about a small meat/cheese roll up, gold fish crackers, kiwi and berries, with a chocolate pudding? There are so many options for lunches but they key is to keep the portions in check and make it fun, colorful, tasty, and healthy. Parents.com has a large list of bento style lunch ideas. There are also lots of idea on Pinterest if you search “bento lunches”. Don’t get hung up on the fancy bento dishes/containers, you can just as easily use baggies or individual plastic/glass storage containers from home.
If your family chooses lunches from the school cafeteria, try supplementing with additional fruit or veggies. It’s fun to see what school lunches look like in other countries. America certainly has room for improvement in many of our schools. And kudos to those schools that are serving nutritious and good food to our kids.
Start gearing up for school and get a plan of action. Lunch can and should be fun.
Feature photo by Melissa