Packing lunches becomes the bane of any parent’s existence a few months into the school year. Now with only a few months left in the school year, but you still can’t get of easy. There are summer outings, picnics, and summer camps coming up soon. I thought it would be a great time to tackle a lunch bag makeover.
My kids often tell me that they pack the most nutritious food of anyone at their lunch table. I find that a little surprising, but I know it’s partly because of how busy families are. In addition, it can be crazy expensive to try out new things your kids won’t eat for lunch.
So, I put together a simple 5 step plan to make it easy to pack a lunch in no time that your kids will actually eat and you can feel good about.
5 Easy Steps To Packing Lunch
All items marked with an * are available from our sponsor, Horizon Organic.
Step 1: Hearty Entree
A protein packed entree is the key to lasting energy throughout the day for kids and adults alike. There are so many options when it comes to protein that go beyond sandwiches. I share over a dozen ideas below.
- Nuts or trail mix
- Lunch rolls–meats and cheese rolled together, cheese rolled into tubes, lunch meat or cheese rolled in lettuce.
- Granola bars
- Protein bars
- Organic cheese sticks*
- Mac & Cheese*
- Sandwich bread with nut butter
- Sandwich bread with nut butter and jam or jelly
- Tortillas with meat & cheese, veggies, or nut butter
- Sandwich crackers–cheese or peanut butter sandwich*
- Cheese sticks*
- Leftovers–from dinner
- Breakfast for lunch–waffles or pancakes that are leftover, cereal with a side of milk, etc.
- Cheese* and meat slices
Step 2: Colorful Veggies
One of the best things to pack is a a side of veggies. While not all kids love every vegetable most kids have a favorite even if it includes a side of ketchup, ranch dressing, or the like. One of the ways we talked our kids into eating veggies when they were reluctant was to talk about the rainbow of foods they should eat on any given day. Some of our favorites:
- Cucumber slices
- Carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- Side salad
- Broccoli trees
- Cauliflower trees
- Pepper slices
- Spinach salad
- Cherry tomatoes
Step 3: Tasty Fruit
Fruit is an essential in our house! My kids could be considered fruititarians for how much they love the stuff! Our favorite fruits for lunches are:
- Oranges or clementines
Packing whole fruit is not always a great idea. Bananas get mushy, whole apples may go to waste, and berries may get bruised. So while we often pack whole fruit sometimes it’s better to pack something a little different. I’ve included some of our favorite options below:
- Frozen Berries–they warm up as the day goes on and make a great addition to yogurt.
- Apple slices with lemon juice–to keep from turning brown.
- Super Squeezers* in mixed berry, strawberry, and orange
- Grapefruit slices
- Orange slices
- Mango cubes
- Watermelon cubes
- Melon balls
Step 4: Yummy Snack
Everyone has to have a yummy snack. there are tons of great options but we like to stick to things that we can repackage into smaller snack bags or a packed full of vitamins.
- Fruit Crunchers* in apple
- Fruit Clusters* in apple
- Fruit Snacks with DHA* in berry and strawberry
- Snack Grahams* in cinnamon, honey, and chocolate
- Trail mix
- Yogurt squeezer*
Step 5: Drink
We tend to pack water whenever possible or water bottles that the kids can refill at school. Occasionally though it’s nice to pack something different. Some options include:
- 100% juice boxes or pouches
- Milk boxes-while they come in flavors I prefer to send in plain milk.
- Seltzer water
- Fruit-infused water
- Frozen smoothie in a thermos
- Fresh made juice
Using these 5 simple steps you can pack a great lunch for the kids or adults in your house. Look for these great new products from Horizon Organic.
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This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organics. The opinions and text are all mine.