Here are some tips for a packable lunch that works great for kids – and even adults – that are nutritious and delicious (as well as quick and economical):
Make sandwiches using whole grain bread and cut into different shapes with cookie cutters, or use whole wheat pita bread or rolls. Pack lettuce and tomato separately to avoid sogginess.
• Sneak in vegetables by packing chopped or sliced carrots and cut-up bell peppers or broccoli.
• Include some bite-size fruits such as banana, apple, grapes, blueberries or strawberries, and a small cup of yogurt (low in sugar, meaning no fruit added to it). Dried fruit, which contains just as much vitamins as raw fruit, is also a great addition to any lunch, especially since it doesn't get squished like raw fruits.
• Don't limit lunch to "lunch-type" foods. Cereal with fruit and yogurt make a very healthy lunch.
• Cook larger meals than you need for your family's dinner, and set aside portions of the leftovers for lunch.
• Make a healthy pizza for lunch using a bagel or English muffin for the crust, and then add tomato sauce, cheese and vegetables.
Peak your your kids curiosity by having them help you make the meals, such as chopping and prepping the foods, and grocery shopping.
If your kids have an active role in preparing the family's meals and are part of the decision-making process, they will be more likely to eat – and enjoy – the healthy foods that you're presenting them. You will be setting them up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits.