Healthy Lunch Box Ideas for Kids by primusboy


									Healthy Lunch Box Ideas for Kids
Packing your child a nutritious lunch is as easy as going to your pantry
and refrigerator. Lots of good ideas are just waiting to be discovered.
From bread to carrot sticks and granola bars to pudding, there is bound
to be some sort of combination to make a good, healthy lunch enjoyable to
your child.
All children have different tastes and preferences. Knowing your child's
likes and dislikes regarding each food group is a must. A meat item such
as turkey or chicken breast is fantastic. It doesn't matter if your child
likes it on a sandwich; many children will eat it plain rather than on a
sandwich. Peanut butter is a great source of protein and folic acid. Add
some jelly for a child that has a sweet tooth. Sometimes that sweetness
will satisfy your child's want for a rich dessert.
Children generally prefer white bread, and it will not hurt them to eat
it. Toast the bread, too. Try substituting a very mild wheat bread or
even wheat crackers. Children like to make their own little sandwiches
using crackers, cheeses, and sandwich meats. The peanut butter on wheat
crackers is an excellent idea as well.
Most children prefer cheese on their sandwiches, so add a slice of real
American or Kraft Deluxe Sharp Cheddar. As you introduce new foods at
home, keep in mind the different kinds of cheeses like Monterrey Jack,
Colby, Swiss, Mozzarella, and Provolone. According to your child's
preferences, pack several slices of cheese for a serving of dairy along
with a peanut butter sandwich. If your child does not like cheese, try a
yogurt of your child's preference.
Know the kinds of vegetables that your child will eat. Carrot and celery
sticks are a widely used snack. Also try raisins, apple slices, orange
slices, banana halves, and even pickles. Though prepackaged fruit
servings are sold in grocery stores, it is often better and more
nutritional to cut the fruit and vegetables yourself. Don't be afraid to
pack nontraditional fruits such as watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries,
fresh pineapple, and kiwi slices. With such yummy things to eat, your
child's lunch may be subject to a bit of envy from other children and
even teachers.
Other ideas include dry cereal like Cheerios or Chex, peanuts, granola
bars, or baked chips. These serve as the "chips" part of a packed lunch.
Check the nutritional content of the packages before you decide which
types of "chips" to pack. Make your own Chex mix with pretzels, Cheez-
Its, yogurt raisins, Cheerios, peanuts, dried cranberries, banana chips,
etc. There are so many possible combinations. Add some M&Ms to the mix
and alleviate the need for a dessert.
If your child insists on a dessert, pack the lunch accordingly and leave
room for a sweet treat. Pudding can be either low-fat or nonfat. Jello is
a great dessert for children that like fruity tastes. Pack a homemade
oatmeal cookie or two or a couple of Hershey kisses. A handful of
chocolate chips or M&Ms is the perfect amount for a child that has eaten
a healthy lunch. If your child likes cacao or very dark c hocolate, pack a
couple of squares knowing that the sugar content is greatly reduced than
that of milk chocolate. The antioxidants in cacao are a plus.
Many parents tend not to pack a healthy drink for their child, yet it is
something that needs just as much consideration. Anything containing high
fructose corn syrup as the main or one of the main ingredients should be
tossed out the window. Orange juice and homemade lemonade are good
choices if your child does not like milk. Nonetheless, reduced fat white
milk is probably the best nutritional drink. Chocolate milk contains the
same amount of nutrition as white milk and can be used to minimize your
child's desire for dessert items. Water is a wonderful way to replenish
your child's thirst, too.
Ask for your child's imput as to how much they will eat. Some parents
tend to over pack a lunch being afraid that their child will be hungry.
The child will then return home having only eaten half of what was
packed, and this can frustrate the parent. Remember that children don't
need as many calories as adults do in a day.
There is no right or wrong way to pack a nutritious lunch for your child,
and there are so many different ways to incorporate healthy foods into
your child's diet. The keys are to know what your child will eat and to
make packing a lunch as simple as possible using common foods that you
already have at home.
More articles can be found at my website. I invite you to read them and
submit your own ideas as well. Thanks so much for your interest!

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