As I mentioned Friday, whether on Twitter, Facebook, online forums or your grocery store magazines, everyone is talking about school lunches these days.
My daughter doesn’t attend a group preschool program, but I still have to worry about lunch every day.
What should I feed her?
What will she eat without a fight? (hello, she’s three)
What is the healthiest, fastest option?
The latter question is my primary focus when it comes to her meals; as I’ve written about in the past, my daughter is very, very petite — so much so that her pediatrician has ordered her to be on a protein/fat dominate diet.
(oh, to be so lucky)
Now, that kind of diet would be easy if I didn’t care about overall nutrition — I could just shove high sugar and fat food, and processed meats in her face and call it done. But, even though she would LOVE that diet, as her mother I have to make sure that she is consuming good fats and good proteins . . . and not foods that could potentially set her up for future health problems (obesity, high cholesterol, diabetes, etc.).
So — how do I feed her healthy, doctor-approved meals with OUT it ending in a battle of wills?
For my Little Lady, I’ve learned “packaging” will get her to eat whatever I prepare — even the healthy stuff. If her lunch is exciting and not the same ol’ sandwich every time, eating becomes an adventure . . . and she willingly digs in.
Last week, I started putting her lunch in a little lunch box — yes, an old-fashioned metal lunch box — and her tiny face lights up each time she sits down to open it.
What are some of the foods I’ve put in it?
- Sliced Apples and Almond Butter (a great combo providing a good blend of healthy fats/protein/fiber)
- Baby Carrots and Tzatziki (a healthier alternative to Ranch Dip — simple, REAL ingredients and DELICIOUS)
- Skewers of Cubed Cheese, Grapes, and Ham
- Whole grain breads, wraps, and pitas filled with hummus, chicken and dark leaf lettuce (her favorite combo that packs a punch with plenty of fiber, vitamins and protein)
Looking for more school lunch ideas? Here are options I’ve found this past week:
School Lunches — Healthy Alternatives (includes more info on the benefits of a healthy lunch for a child)
Bento Lunch Boxes (this style of lunch prep is ADORABLE, healthy, easy and definitely something kids enjoy)
*Disclosure: this post was originally published as part of a Back To School Meal program by HEB and ConAgra; I was compensated for my recipe creations and posts.