Variety is the spice of life. It’s also the not-so mysterious secret to encourage your kids to eat their homemade lunches they bring to school. Create fresh lunches they won’t want to trade away and their lunch boxes will be empty when they return home. I have been told I’m lucky because my youngest eats his veggies, but I also started him young. I include a wide variety of sliced vegetables in both lunches and dinners.
* It’s easier to send kids to school with fresh foods when you use small containers to package items separately.
* Stock up on reusable cold packs and always include one in the lunch bag.
* Skip dishes with a lot of liquid, mayonnaise or that only taste good when heated (like pizza).
* Wrap fresh uncut fruit in wax paper to keep it from being bruised while bouncing around in a lunch box.
Sliced turkey and American cheese roll ups with whole wheat pita bread wedges
Fresh zucchini circles
Homemade mini blueberry muffins
Chopped veggie and rice salad: use a variety of vegetables they like including chopped carrots, green peppers and red peppers tossed with brown rice, a splash of Italian dressing
Cubes of cheese on the side
Homemade oatmeal and raisin cookies
Money to buy milk from school
Cold turkey meatloaf baked in a muffin tin served with fresh tomato slices
* This is one of those lunches that uses leftovers from last night (mini turkey meatloaf baked in muffin tins).
California blend veggies – freshly cut broccoli and cauliflower florets with ranch dressing for dipping
Fresh strawberries – Unsweetened applesauce is always a good back up when you run out of fresh fruit
Water or juice from home
Italian chicken and pasta salad with leftover pasta wheels or shells from last night’s dinner mixed with Italian dressing, chunks of cooked chicken breast, black or green olives (if your kid likes them) and chopped red peppers
Low-fat vanilla pudding (unrefrigerated)
Lettuce wraps with chicken and mandarin oranges
Whole wheat pasta, broken three times before cooking, chilled and mixed with shredded carrots, lettuce and hummus
Homemade banana cupcake made using a banana muffin mix with a real banana, dusted with confectioner’s sugar
Milk from school