Back to school time can be a stressful time for most parents. Besides having to buy new school supplies like pencils and binders, you’ll have to worry about packing your child a lunch every day that’s both nutritious and delicious.
The lunchtime economy is chock full of bartering, and the last thing you’d want is for all of your effort spent making lunch to be traded away at your child’s first opportunity. At the same time, a lot of the most desirable food is unhealthy and not conducive to your child being at their mental best for the duration of the school day. Keep your wits about you when packing school lunches, and you might just be able to have your child eating healthy without them even realizing it.
Focus on whole grains
Your average sandwich can have its nutritional profile bumped up considerably by swapping the usual white bread for whole grain options. Whole grains are an excellent source of magnesium, fiber, and a handful of other vitamins and minerals. If your child is on the picky side when it comes to their sandwiches, other products can be swapped out for a whole grain equivalent. These include crackers or pasta and often go unnoticed by children, as opposed to the more noticeable difference between white and whole wheat bread.
Don’t skimp on produce
Produce is woefully underrepresented in lunchboxes across the nation, with too many children going without fresh, nutritious produce on a daily basis. Fruits and veggies are insanely healthy, and also contain tons of antioxidants and beneficial vitamins that will keep your child ready to listen and absorb the day’s teaching materials. Natural juices can be an okay substitute, but make sure you aren’t just giving your child something that’s half fruit and half sugar, as this is a counterproductive way of going about adding fruit into their diet. Throw in some fun by chopping up the fruit into fun shapes that are easy to toss into the mouth for a snack they’ll look forward to daily.
Nuts, nuts, and more nuts
Nuts are one of the easiest ways to have your child get their day’s worth of protein and healthy fats without having to eat massive quantities of food. A reputable wholesaler like the kind found at boxed.com/products/category/357/nuts-seeds will set you up for months at a time, and allow you to throw in enough peanuts, almonds, and walnuts to keep your child snacking happily for weeks to come. Nuts are a great option because they are full of fiber which aids digestion and more than enough trace minerals to fully round out your child’s diet. On top of being spectacularly delicious, most nuts contain high amounts of DHA, which is a precursor to omega-3 fatty acids that are known to aid brain power.
Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring, and hopefully, this list has shown you that keeping things on the healthy side doesn’t mean your child is going to try and give them away for a pack of M&Ms. If you follow proper nutritional advice, your child will have enough energy to get through their busy day, and have them grow into healthy teenagers one day.