Emily Allen, HHC, shares her best tips and created a five day school lunch meal plan that will make your busy life just a little easier.
If your kids are old enough, have them help with lunch packing. Emily has her girls pack their own lunch. Sometimes, their lunches end up looking rather strange but Emily loves that they are learning how to take care of this themselves. The requirements are that they have a healthy protein, a healthy carb, and two fruits or vegetables. At first kids will need reminders what fits in each category but they will be learning each time! Once or twice a week Emily will sneaks in a little square of dark chocolate or a healthy homemade treat as a surprise. Children also love little notes.
Monday: Homemade pancake or waffle, natural breakfast sausage, and two fruits or vegetables. Syrup is too messy for school lunch, so sprinkle the pancake with cinnamon or spread some low-sugar jam.
Pro Tip: Pancakes freeze well, make extras then pop them in the toaster for a quick meal.
Tuesday: Hummus, veggies, whole-grain crackers, and applesauce. Hummus is so filling and it's full of healthy protein. There are so many vegetable options to use as dippers, but our most common are carrots, celery, cucumbers, and jicama sticks.
Pro Tip: Use silicone muffin cups to separate items.
Wednesday: Natural deli meat, sweet bell peppers; whole-grain crackers, and a Balance the Superfood Shot.
Pro Tip: Balance The Superfood Shot counts as 1/2 day's servings of fruit and veggies.
Thursday: Homemade chili with an apple and cucumber slices on the side.
Pro Tip: Anytime you make homemade soup or chili, freeze the remainder in single serving portions. The night before move it to the fridge, and then in the morning heat it up and add it to a thermos so it's still nice and hot at lunchtime.
Friday: Pizza day! Cut whole-grain tortilla or pita bread into circles with a cookie cutter. Spread with marinara sauce and sprinkle some cheese, then bake at 350 until the cheese starts to brown just a little. Kiddos enjoy these cold! Olives and sliced peppers work well on the side.
We hope this lunch meal plan makes your life just a little more simple!