Food's In Session: Quick And Easy Lunches For Kids
You want to have a main section to your lunch complete with sides and some sort of treat. It’s also great to toss in a mini water bottle instead of a sugary soda or juice box.
Also, when planning out your dinners for the week, try to think of meals that can easily be turned into lunches for the next day. For example, if you have a grilled chicken dish, cut the leftovers into strips and make mini lettuce wraps for lunch the next day.
Substitute: Banana and Honey Sandwiches
For: Peanut Butter and Jelly
Spread almond butter over one slice of whole wheat bread, top with sliced bananas and drizzle with honey. For the sides, try a mini fruit salad with grapes, strawberries, and include a cheese stick. Toss in some dried fruit for a sweet treat!
Substitute: Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crackers
For: Tube Cheese and Crackers
Instead of classic crackers with processed meat and cheese, try using pita crisps or reduced fat crackers, goat cheese and sliced strawberries. Spread about a teaspoon of cheese on a handful of crackers and top with sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of powdered sugar.
For sides try some veggies like carrot sticks and celery with reduced fat ranch dressing and some reduced fat popcorn. You can also toss in a couple homemade oatmeal raisin or classic chocolate chip cookies for a dessert.
Substitute: Grilled Chicken Mini Wraps
For: Ham and Cheese Sandwich on White Bread
Skip the bread and use lettuce leaves to wrap leftover shredded chicken. Toss the chicken in with about a tablespoon of low-fat Caesar dressing, shredded provolone cheese, chopped tomatoes and cucumber. Roll it up! You can use toothpicks through the center to make sure that they don’t unravel. For older kids, you can give them all the parts of the wraps and let them assemble it themselves!
Pack a small fruit salad of varied berries like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries along with a few pita chips as sides. For dessert try a Greek yogurt cup.
Have fun with your kids’ lunches, too! Use cookie cutters on your sandwiches to make them themed like pumpkins for Halloween or Hearts for Valentine’s Day. Your kids will love their personalized, homemade lunches so much that they won’t even want to trade!