Many children will be returning to school in just a few short weeks. Some children have already started back to school. Mine still have three weeks to go before they return to school.
Like most parents I try and provide my children with a healthy lunch. Personally I always try to include the following:
- Protein (chicken, turkey, ham, tuna, peanut butter…)
- Carbohydrate (whole grain bread, crackers or bagel)
- Fruit (dried, fresh or fruit cup)
- Veggie (my kids prefer raw veggies)
- Water in a reusable bottle
- Treat (snack size chips, a couple of cookies, a snack size candy or some other small sweet treat)
I try and mix it up a bit each time so my kids don’t get bored with eating the same thing all the time.
Several years ago the school nurse called me to commend me for sending a healthy lunch in with my kids. She told me that even being a nurse her kid’s lunches are not nearly as healthy as the ones I packed. That made me free great.
I know how hard it can be to keep your children healthy and helping them to make healthy options. Here are some great tips from PBS Kids and Whole Foods Market that I think readers might enjoy.
Eating healthy is something that all families strive for, but sometimes choosing healthy items can be tough, especially with the hectic back-to-school schedule. Having healthy snacks on hand can be an important step in keeping kids’ nutrition on track throughout the day.
Earlier this month, PBS KIDS and Whole Foods Markets launched the “Fantastic Organic” campaign aimed at providing educational tools and resources to help families learn to cook, shop and explore healthy foods together!
Below, please find some tips from PBS KIDS on choosing healthy snacks for kids as well as some healthy snack ideas you can share directly with your readers:
Choosing and Buying Healthy Snacks
- Stock the fridge and pantry with healthy snacks, such as fruits and vegetables and ingredients for the recipes below.
- Before you go shopping, tell your children what behavior you expect and what, if any, snack they can expect.
- Take snacks with you when you go to appointments or run errands.
- Provide snacks that are easy to eat.
- Use snacks to provide the food groups your children are missing during meals.
- Make snacks small, then give seconds if the child asks for more.
- Decide what snacks you will allow, and when. Explain the rules to your child and stick to them.
Healthy Snack Ideas:
- Crunchy vegetable sticks (carrots, celery) with low-fat ranch dip (for older preschoolers)
- Nearly frozen applesauce
- Melon Melody: Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew with non-fat whipped cream
- Ants on a Log: Peanut butter on celery with raisins
- Mud & Dirt: Low-fat pudding with crushed graham crackers mixed in
- Peanut butter on half of a whole-wheat bagel
- Whole-wheat crackers or whole-wheat tortilla with salsa
- Hummus and pita wedges
- “Light” microwave popcorn with grated Parmesan cheese (for children three years and older)
- Mini-pizzas: Half an English muffin covered with a tablespoon of tomato sauce, then topped with part-skim mozzarella cheese
These are great ideas and I’m going to try a couple of them with my own children (I like the mud & dirt idea).
Do you pack a healthy lunch for your children? What healthy snacks do you serve your children? I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to comment. I love hearing from my reader.
*I was not compensated for this post. I posted this for the benefit of my site readers. Any opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way.