49d6f1265571e_466x500School has started and with it comes school lunches! If you’re looking for ideas of how to pack a healthy lunch box for your kids, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at some ideas for packing a healthy lunch:

Think outside the traditional sandwich. Use whole-wheat waffles or pancakes instead of white sandwich bread. Put almond butter and jelly or peanut butter and honey on whole-wheat tortillas, pitas or even apple slices. Or ditch the sandwich entirely and serve whole-wheat muffins, hummus and pretzel chips, pesto on tomato and mozzarella, or egg salad.

Get creative in adding fruits and vegetables. On days when time is short, you can always just add grapes, bananas, apples or orange slices, but a little preparation can make things more creative. Offer dehydrated fruits and vegetables or provide fruit to go on top of yogurt.

Provide a spoon. Yogurt with homemade granola, honey and dried fruits or homemade purees like applesauce with blueberries or even yogurt with pureed fruits can be nutritious sources of energy for your child and fun to eat, too! Soups in a thermos are also a great way to pack in nutrition.

Make it fun. Use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of sandwiches or cheese. Make faces out of fruits and vegetables or spell out words with seeds and fruits. Add fruit to skewers or just add fun little notes to their lunch box.

Pack snacks. Foods typically considered snack foods – cheese, nuts, fruits, vegetables, hummus – can all make up a nutritious meal. Make a trail mix with various nuts and seeds and add dried fruits like raisins and cranberries.

Think drinks. Create yogurt smoothies, including kale or greens along with pineapple, berries, flax seed, and more. Freeze into popsicle molds or ice cubes and put in bottles to thaw before lunchtime or in a thermos if still in pureed form.

Make your own meals.  Make your own “lunchables” using whole wheat crackers, lunch meats and slices of cheese, or include small pieces of pita, along with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese for make-your-own pizzas.

And one last note: a bento-style lunchbox makes it easy to pack lunches and is better for the environment than using plastic bags. Small compartments are easy to pack in and can accommodate multiple items in one easy-to-open container for your child.

What are your favorite healthy lunch ideas? What are your kids favorite healthy lunch ideas?

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