This blog was part of an NBC Charlotte Today segment. View the segment using the link below.
NBC Charlotte Today Segment
My girls are starting school tomorrow, so I am back at coming up with creative ways to make their lunches healthy. As an advocate for childhood obesity, I have been heavily involved in the education on healthier lunches and even started a healthy lunch program at my kids’ school. Also, to make YOUR life easier I created 360YourLunchBox, a month of creative and healthy lunch ideas for kids. You can purchase the book here or download your copy for a special sale price of $4.99 here.
Being a busy mom, I am all about quick, easy, and HEALTHY! Here are some of the tips that help me prepare healthy lunches:
- PREPARATION IS KEY! Cutting up fruits and veggies, making pans of protein bars and my gluten free granola, freezing homemade soup, and pre-making hummus, dips and sauces help packing lunches go much smoother because everything is ready to throw in the lunchbox.
- GET CREATIVE. My youngest is going into Kindergarten and we learned last year that pretty much anything on a stick or in a shape was a sure way to get her to eat something healthy. My themed lunches like “I Love You” contain fun shaped sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables. It is very simple to cut out anything into a shape, so just keep your cookie cutters around to make different shaped items. The lunchbox pictures below is a combination of different themed lunches found in my book.
- Good Fat, Protein, Fruits & Veggies. These items make a lunch complete and fuels kids with sustainable energy to get them through the day. I like to utilize local produce by shopping at my local health food store, Healthy Home Market.
- Don’t Think They’re Too Young for Salads & Soups. My oldest daughter is in 3rd grade and has been requesting more “mature” meals containing salads and soups. She loves quinoa salads, green salads, soups, and dips.
- Remember the add-ons! Add-ons are important, especially if your children have a time for snacks during their day. Trail mix with raw nuts and seeds and edamame are great sources of protein and fat to give them a boost of energy.
- Accommodate Allergies. Many children in my daughters school have nut allergies, so I have found that sunflower seed butter and hemp butter are wonderful alternatives that the kids love. You can use them exactly how you would any nut butter. I can find a HUGE selection of nut butter alternatives at my local health food store, Healthy Home Market. Also, I love Hippie Hemp Butter. You can purchase it from their Amazon store here.
Just say no to this year to the packaged foods that have a ton of ingredients and fake food and artificial dyes and colors that have been linked to learning disabilities and focus. Say yes to food that FUELS our children academically and athletically! Food that will help them focus and stay sustained throughout the day!