Step aside, PB & J!Healthy lunches can taste great and be a cinch to pack!
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When school starts, life gets more structured – and more chaotic. Planning lunches can get lost in the shuffle of homework, sports, band, dance, gymnastics – whew! we’re exhausted just thinking about it all!
Alzein Pediatric Associates knows you want to give your kids healthy lunches, but that you don’t have a lot of time during the morning rush. We’ve complied a menu of items that are easy to pack and good for your children.
Build around a protein – and cube it.
Cube cheddar cheese, last night’s chicken breast or pork chop (think lunch when you’re planning dinner!), or hard-boiled eggs. These items are packed with healthy protein, easy to eat with fingers or fork, and can be prepared ahead and stored in the fridge. Rolls are fun too, such as ham with cheese or lean sliced beef around avocado.
Expand the possibilities with insulated containers.
Your child might prefer minestrone soup, chili or savory lasagna. Zap it in the microwave in the morning and seal an insulated container (such as a Thermos®) so they’ll have a comforting warm lunch.
Add some crunch.
Ditch the chips! Prep pieces of celery, slices of green, yellow and red peppers or broccoli florets. Need no prep at all? Buy baby carrots by the bagful.
Throw in a salad.
Those bags of cleaned, premixed salad greens are a lunch-maker’s best friend. Place a handful into a reusable container and splash a bit of dressing into a separate container for mealtime combining. If you’ve got an extra minute, slice an avocado and use that as a dressing instead.
Don’t forget the sweet tooth.
Let those high sugar cookies and other processed snacks crumble away. Give your child sliced apples, grapes, or blueberries. Also consider a fruity yogurt, quartered oranges or trail mix.
Avoid prepackaged processed lunches.
Those packages in the refrigerated section look tempting, but pass them by! They are expensive and filled with salt, sugar, nitrates and other chemicals, with very little nutrition. BONUS – avoiding these highly packaged containers also helps your family go green.
Questions on what really makes a healthy lunch – or breakfast and dinner? Give Alzein Pediatric Associates a call at 708-424-7600 and we’ll be happy to give you guidance for balanced meals all day long!