Back to School Lunch Ideas
The school year is just starting, and any parent knows that back-to-school times can be stressful. Throw packing a school lunch into the mix, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Your time in the morning is already limited without having to worry about what your child is eating that day. Unfortunately, that usually leads to school lunches that are thrown together with unhealthy food, or food that your child doesn’t really want to eat.
But creating thoughtful, healthy lunches doesn’t have to add to the stress of your morning. By planning out your child’s meals with simple, quality foods, school lunches will soon be one of the easiest parts of your day.
Find a Good Balance, But Keep It Simple!
We all want to feed our families with the best quality foods to keep them happy and healthy—it’s something that Poppie’s Dough has built our business on. But good quality doesn’t have to mean complicated. In fact, the best foods are usually the most simple. Still, it’s easy to get carried away with healthy recipes that are time-consuming and complex. If you try to tackle lunch foods like that, you’ll get burnt out fast. So how do you find the best balance for your child’s cold lunch?
The formula for a great school lunch is simple: fruit, veggies, protein/healthy fats, and a treat your child will love. Try combining a simple sandwich, apple slices, baby carrots, and a freshly baked cookie from Poppie’s Dough. Again, healthy meals don’t have to be complicated, especially when we’re talking about a child’s school lunch.
Another thing to keep in mind is that a lot of kids can be picky eaters, especially when they are distracted by friends during the lunch period. Keeping the foods simple also means you’re keeping the foods easy to eat. Don’t shy away from packing the same fruits and veggies a few times a week, especially the ones you know your child is going to eat.
It would be unrealistic to make fresh meals every day for your child’s lunch. Why not pack up those leftovers from last night’s dinner? Again, it’s all about balance. Add some fresh fruit and vegetables to the lunchbox, and yesterday’s chicken can become a part of a new and exciting meal.
Just like homework, it’s important to stay organized. Sticking to a schedule and planning meals ahead can help you to make sure your child’s lunch doesn’t fall by the wayside as the school year progresses.
We came across this blog written by a nutritionist which includes a printable cheat sheet. It’s a great resource for keeping your lunches on track, simple, and healthy. It covers all of the food groups that should be included in each lunch and also gives you examples of meals you can create from the chart.
Another great way to stay organized is to pack your child’s lunches in a bento box. A bento box is a style of lunchbox that keeps each food separate for easy packing. The different compartments also make the food more appealing to eat for picky eaters. You can pack these lunchboxes in advance and store them in your refrigerator. It’s also easily re-packed and rearranged for those last-minute appetite changes.
There are several places you can purchase bento boxes online, including this Etsy store which customizes their lunchboxes with your child’s name!
Everyone Needs a Treat!
Serving your kids healthy meals doesn’t mean you have to exclude sweets. Adding a a cookie, muffin, or brownie to their lunchbox can make their meal (and their whole day) a little more fun.
That being said, not all treats are made equally. Baked goods made with fresh, quality ingredients are not only healthier but also tastier than store-bought cookies made with unnatural flavors and preservatives. So, if you are adding a treat to your child’s lunch, make sure it’s made with quality ingredients.
Poppie’s dough makes all of our cookies, pastries, and other desserts with only the best, highest quality ingredients. Our baked goods are treats that you can feel good about feeding to your family. Check out our special Back to School Cookies, or explore our other products. We also offer gluten-free options for young students with diet restrictions. And with fast, nationwide shipping, you can get Poppie’s fresh-baked cookies delivered right to your door before you start packing next week’s lunches!