A healthy, balanced lunch should have four components: fruits, vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. To make sure that every meal and or snack contains the four components, make a list with recipes for each category. Stuck? Check the SideChef App. Here are some recipes to help!
For some protein, make Garlic and Zest’s Grilled Chicken Thighs with Herb Dry Rub. Try this for dinner and double the recipe amount so you have leftovers for lunch the next day.
For carbohydrates, pack a few slices of bread, preferably whole grain. If whole grains aren't your thing, try to pack in some kid-friendly fiber by blending up beans to make a dip. Try this Creamy Classic Hummus for a start!
Pack a salad jar like the Greek Salad Jar by SideChef. Remember to keep the dressing on the side!
Picky Tip: If your kids dislike vegetables, sneak them into dishes. Instead of conventional Fettuccine Alfredo, try Zucchini Fettuccine and Cauliflower Alfredo by Lemons and Basil. Instead of bland steamed veggies, make some Cauliflower and Spinach dip by Expat Cucina.
Involve your kids when packing for their lunches! Let them choose one or two things from each category of food. If you have to meal plan over the weekend, keep the food Tupperware in the fridge. Designate a rack for each category. On weeknights, simply scoop some vegetables, protein, fruit, and carbohydrates of your children’s picking from the Tupperware into the Bento box. Quick and easy!
Packing nuts may be difficult for younger kids as most elementary schools are nut-free. If your children love a peanut butter sandwich, try to replace the peanut butter with nut-free butters. Here are a few suggestions: tahini, sunflower seed butter, soynut butter, and coconut butter.
After school, kids often reach for the unhealthy, sugary treats. Instead of buttery, fatty dessert, opt for healthier snacks. Instead of a brownie, make some Vegan Black Bean Brownies by 80 cakes!
Instead of packing soda, make some fruit-infused water. Slice up some fruit, pour it in water, chill overnight, and viola! A refreshing, healthy alternative!
Explore SideChef for more healthy, quick, lunch appropriate recipes.