Healthy Lunch Munches & Pack Lunches For Kids

Healthy Lunch Munches & Pack Lunches For Kids

Almost fifty per cent of our children today take packed lunches to school. As parents we're usually happy about that because that way we know what our kids are eating.

We have some control over it and we feel we are giving our kids a healthy meal, but are we? Or are we filling them up on fizzy sodas, cake bars and candy that our kids see on TV and beg us for? After all, 'EVERYBODY'S Mom lets them eat that!' Are you tired of hearing that? So tired of it that now you have given in too?

You don't have to. You can give your children healthy food in their packed lunch boxes - even without them realizing. After all, as parents we often have to pick our battles, don't we? But a healthy diet should be non-negotiable for us all, including the children in our care. However, there are ways to get your children to eat healthily at lunch time, without all the tears and tantrums.

Here are just a few ideas to provide your children with healthy packed lunches: Use wholegrain alternatives. Many of us with our modern diet of refined and processed foods (children included) lack fiber in our diet.

A packed lunch is easier if they don't have a gluten intolerance because then you can just use wholegrain bread. Even pita breads, which children love, come in wholegrain varieties. If your child is unable to eat wheat, rice crackers can also be a good and tasty alternative which are low in fat and high in fiber.

Find alternatives to sandwiches: A packed lunch doesn't have to mean sandwiches. You can include colourful and nutritious pasta salads or rice salads. That can include tiny morsels of vegetables to give your child vitamins and minerals in a format they will enjoy. They may also like celery sticks smothered in peanut butter. I know I do, and my children too!

Cut the fat: Sandwiches don't necessarily need mayo or even butter. Don't just put them on there because you always have. If the sandwich filling is moist you probably won't need butter or mayo. That will go a long way toward cutting the fat in a packed lunch. Choose low fat meats like chicken, turkey or lean ham for a healthy option and add some salad vegetables too. Tuna in brine, cottage cheese, Edam cheese or even a banana are all low fat sandwich fillings that go down a storm with children.

Add some fruit and vegetables: Children love finger foods, and if they can get messy, so much the better. If you cut up brightly colored raw peppers, cucumber and carrots and team it with a tasty, healthy dip made of creme fraiche or even yogurt as its base is a healthy option and one that the kids will have fun with. You can add a dessert of fruit yogurt or dried fruit.

Winter warmers: Now, the winter chills are coming and you'll probably agree that salads aren't the most attractive of options when it's so cold you can see your breath in front of you. That doesn't mean that you have to go back to giving the kids unhealthy packed lunches. Soups made of heaps of vegetables and perhaps barley for added fiber is a very healthy alternative. They can easily be taken to school in a thermos and it's very comforting on a cold day to wrap your hands around a warm mug of soup. Kids will love that too, and there are many easy to open kids thermos flasks on the market.

Keep them sweet: Eating a healthy diet does not mean that your kids can't have any sweet treats. Heavens! If it meant that, not many of us would follow a healthy diet for long, would we?

Fruit cut up into bite-sized chunks are always popular with children. Again, to make them even more attractive, you can include a pot of yogurt, creme fraiche or fruit puree for them to dip the fruit into.

A little of what you love does you good, too. So don't be afraid to include some chocolate in your kids packed lunches now and then. Chocolate covered raisins are a great option. Home-made wholegrain scones and fruit breads are also healthy and delicious alternatives to sugary, calorie-laden cakes and cookies and children will still love them.

Drinks: Once you've done all this good work of making sure your kids eat healthily at lunch time, don't spoil it by finishing off their meal with a sugary soda packed with caffeine and additives. Instead, pop unsweetened fruit juices or smoothies, unsweetened yogurt drinks or even semi-skimmed milk.

So you can see that sending your children off with a healthy packed lunch that they will love does not necessarily have to be a problem task. You can quite easily give your child food they enjoy which will help to keep them healthy too.

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