I have a confession to make, I really miss the time my daughter went to daycare for one reason only – I didn’t have to worry about her lunches every day!
In September 2013, my oldest daughter started JK, which was both an exciting and a terrifying experience for both of us. I can’t help but thinking how big and different she has become, I can’t believe she’s already 10 years old (as of today)!
Today she is already going to school with big kids and actually loving it. Sometimes a creeping voice within me wishes she hated it and actually didn’t want to go to school so I could have her only for myself. But then I wake up in the morning, and while packing her lunch box, this voice quickly fades away and I appreciate the opportunity to go to the washroom without an audience, for a change.
Today I wanted to share some of my ideas for quick and healthy lunch box ideas for kids. Before we start I wanted to write a few sentences about your choice of a lunch box.
Before you even start thinking about lunch box ideas, I recommend thinking about the lunch box which you will be using daily to pack your child’s lunch. The first lunch box I got was a cheap BPA-free set of 4 boxes with a lid, which my daughter loved because they were pretty, cute and small. However, a couple months into the school year I noticed that the cute little boxes were returned daily with the food in it untouched, and also my daughter returning home upset and not wanting to go to school the next day. When I asked her why, she would reply that she doesn’t like the lunch supervisor because she keeps telling her to hurry up and eat her lunch faster. Eventually I spoke with the teacher who said that children have only 20 minutes to eat (!!!) and my daughter, a slow eater, is always last to finish eating.
Instead of smashing my daughter’s confidence and passion for school, I decided to change her lunch box hoping that would change the circumstances a little, and boy it did!
I decided to try a bento style lunch box because I wanted the entire lunch to be in front of her so she doesn’t have to open any additional containers. There are tons of them on the internet, but I stumbled upon a company called Planet Box which manufacture stainless steel bento lunch boxes in various sizes.
They are not cheap but according to my research are very durable and people use it for years, so I bought it. My daughter chose the colour and magnets which accompany it and we waited for the arrival of our new lunch box.
So finally our lunch box has arrived in the mail and both my daughter and I fell in love with it! The next day I sent her to school with it and she returned with an empty lunch box! I was thrilled, but thought maybe it happened because of her excitement about the new box.
I highly recommend to invest into something like this, it will make your job easier and your child will enjoy nutritious meals daily.
In fact, about a month after we got that lunch box, my daughter was awarded “The Healthy School Award” which means her teacher noticed that her lunch is healthy and enjoyable. Here is a picture of that award (it made me so happy and proud!)
Here are some quick and healthy lunch box ideas for kids
1 portion of protein (chicken drumsticks), 1 portion of carbs (roasted potato), 1 portion of vegetables (red peppers) and 1 portion of fruit (grapes)
Sheep cheese, homemade cauliflower & broccoli quiche, daikon radish, homemade GF banana cake, banana
egg sandwich (i’m using a whole grain pita here), red peppers, carrots, melon and cut-up orange
avocado sandwich (i’m using silverhill bread), steamed broccoli & cauliflower, blueberries, roasted squash and cut-up mango
homemade sushi (leftovers from dinner), carrot, chocolate wrap, strawberries, pomegranate (I usually spend no more than 10 minutes on her lunch so pomegranate was ready from dinner the day before).
tuna sandwich, sliced carrots, cucumber, strawberries and an apple
egg sandwich, sliced peppers, cucumber, oranges
turkey sandwich, sliced carrots, radishes, melon, peach
Six rules for packing a quick and healthy lunch box:
1. don’t spend more than 10 minutes on it
2. try to have 1 portion of protein, 1 portion of carbohydrate, 1 portion of vegetable and 1 portion of a fruit at each meal (don’t stress too much if this doesn’t happen at every lunch, as you can see I also cheat sometimes)
3. for snack I never pack anything other than fruit so the key is having a wide variety of fruit at home so kids don’t get bored of the same fruit each time
4. try to have as many colours as possible so the food looks appealing for your kids to eat
5. always show your kids their lunch so they anticipate it eagerly – this ensures they actually eat most of what you’ve packed for them
6. pack kids lunch with positive energy and love – everything is energy, even food! Sing and laugh if you must 🙂
Hopefully this gave you some ideas how to pack a quick and healthy lunch box for your kids, feel free to share this article with other moms who might benefit from it.
To your child’s health!