Simple Substitutions That Can Make Your Kids’ Lunches More Healthy and Filling
By Anita Ginsburg
In order for kids to do their best in school throughout the day, they need to eat a healthy lunch. However, many parents struggle with finding options that are healthy and filling as well as appetizing for their kids. They may have run out of ideas or just don’t have a lot of time to make more intricate lunches. If you are having a difficult time figuring out what to do to make your kids’ lunches more healthy and filling, there are some simple substitutions that you can make that won’t take a lot of time in the mornings.
Fruits and Veggies
A lot of kids want something crunchy to eat during lunch. There are all sorts of reasons why people crave crunchy foods, including stress, mouthfeel, a subconscious expectation of freshness, and simple enjoyment of the sound. These things are some of what make chips so enjoyable, and many parents end up packing a bag of chips in their child’s lunch despite the fact that chips don’t have a lot of nutritional value.
You can find alternatives that satisfy that need for crunch. Raw fruits and veggies are ideal and are easy to substitute. For example, apple slices are both healthy and filling as are carrots and celery sticks. You can also add a little bit of peanut butter for your child to dip their apple slices or celery in as well. If your kids are craving something saltier, salted nuts can also be a good addition.
Whole Wheat Flatbread
If your child likes sandwiches for lunch, you can change them up a bit and make them more healthy by using whole wheat flatbread instead of white bread. Whole-grain breads are full of fiber, which helps your kids stay full longer. Additionally, these breads are packed with vitamins, minerals, and even protein. You can find packages of 8 slice whole wheat flatbread for easy sandwich making.
You can use all of the ingredients that you normally would put on your child’s sandwich, and you can even introduce new foods that your child hasn’t had before. For savory sandwiches, try replacing the usual condiments with spreads like pesto, avocado, or hummus. For a twist on the classic PB&J, try out different nut butters and add sliced strawberries, apples, bananas, or other favorite fruits.
Brown Rice Bowl
Many parents are looking for something different to pack in their kid’s lunch. A brown rice bowl is a great option because you can easily customize it to your child’s preferences. In addition to the brown rice, you can also include things like cheese, meat, and your child’s favorite vegetables. It’s also a great way to use up leftovers.
By the time lunch rolls around, many children are feeling very tired and having difficulty concentrating on their assignments. Providing your child with energy bites they can snack on will provide them with the extra energy that they need between meals. These bites are easy to make, and they only require a few ingredients like oats, some kind of nut butter, and chocolate chips. One of the nice things about energy bites is that they don’t require any sort of refrigeration. This is great for kids that don’t have lunch until later in the day.
You can easily pack your kids a healthy and filling lunch that they look forward to each day. All you need to do is make a few simple substitutions to some of the things that they already like to eat.
More About the Author
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She studied at Colorado State University, and now writes articles about health, business, family and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family whenever she isn’t writing. You can follow her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.
*Bio photo courtesy of Anita Ginsburg