2 min read
A variety of foods in a lunch box

Well parents, summer has been fun, but it is that time of year once again, back to school time. With school starting, your brain may be thinking about all of the supplies you need to buy, which might include a lunch box. Lunch–just like breakfast–is an important meal of the day that provides children with that midday refueling to give them the energy to finish the rest of the day strong. As a parent, you may often fret about what to pack, if you are packing the right thing, and even sometimes if you are packing enough food. To help alleviate some of these worries, the following are four easy steps to providing your child with a nutritious lunch:

Step 1. Grab whatever you need to make a list! This can be as simple as a sticky note or just a piece of paper. It does not have to be fancy or complicated, so don’t over think it.

Step 2. Make a list of the foods that your child eats on a regular basis. If you have more than one child, go ahead and make a list for each child because chances are they don’t eat all of the same foods. This is not meant to be a meal plan, just a list of their favorites that you can pull from daily or weekly, however you plan to make their lunches. Keep in mind that this list is not meant to be permanent. Just like adults, children’s taste buds change and evolve.

Step 3. Don’t stress about trying to pack the perfect lunch. This doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal with all of the five food groups in their lunch box. A great place to start is to choose three food groups out of the five food groups. Take a look back at the list you made, and choose three foods that come from three different food groups. For example, your child’s lunch may be a cheese quesadilla, grapes, and carrots. A bonus tip would be to throw in a small amount of a new food that you would like for your child to try. Lunch is a great time to introduce a new food in just small amounts. The key to a healthy meal is balance and variety.

Step 4. Set aside time for prepping. Another hurtle parents often face when it comes to packing their child’s lunch is having the time and all the supplies needs. The final step to ensuring that you can provide your child with a healthy, nutritious lunch is to set a little bit of time aside a few days before or the night before to prepare the ingredients needed to pack their lunches. For example, you can cut up the fruits and vegetables you plan to pack. Preparing the ingredients doesn’t have to take hours. Once you have the ingredients prepared, it will make packing lunches quick, easy, and stress free.