Here’s how you can pack a healthy punch into your child’s lunches and snacks.
Combine veggies, fruits and grains
Combine protein foods (such as fish, lean meat, beans, tofu, and eggs) with fibre-rich foods (such as whole grains, beans, and nuts). Don’t forget to add a serving each of a vegetable and fruit. For a complete meal, include some low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese, or yogurt. Add a smidgen of healthy fats (such as the kinds found in olive oil, nuts, and fish).
Avoid foods with extra fat, sugar, and sodium
Healthy food choices provide children with the energy and nutrients they need throughout the day, while keeping them feeling full for longer, and are a major source of the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and develop.
Get creative with lunches and snacks
Fussy eaters? Get creative to give your lunches and snacks more appeal, like making fruit kebabs or chopping veggie sticks for dips to up the wow and yum factors. Reimagine sandwiches by using a variety of whole-grain breads, pitas, wraps, and tortillas.. Build a lunch in a bowl, starting with healthy base, such as whole-grain noodles, brown rice, or quinoa. Pile on fresh greens, vegetables, lean protein, and herbs. The mix of flavors, textures, and colours will delight all the senses. *
Involve kids in lunch planning
Health Canada recommends that parents invite their kids to help plan and pack their own lunches for school. This can help:
Plan, prep meals ahead
Plan ahead to make packing lunches easier, save time and stay organized. Prep ahead on weekends. Make a meal plan and then do your grocery shopping. Stock up on healthy on-the-go snacks you can add to their main meal at school. Think about evening dinners you will prepare, keeping in mind that leftovers can be used to make quick and easy lunches the next day.
Don’t skip breakfast
Be sure to get your kids off to a healthy start with a nutritious breakfast. We know mornings can be hectic, but there are quick and easy-to-prepare breakfast alternatives for on-the-go lifestyles like a banana-berry smoothie, processed in a blender and topped with chia seeds, hemp hearts, granola or nuts.