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School Lunch

September 4, 2012

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By:  Coach Maria – Salus Nutritionist & Food Expert

Goodbye summer, hello school year!  For some it’s a happy occasion, for others, a bittersweet event.  It’s time to get the kids back to school, all the while, making promises to ourselves to be more organized and, hopefully, to feed our children some healthy fare. 

Perhaps you start out with great intentions and then schedules get in the way and you opt to go the convenience route, albeit not-so-healthy – lunch at school!

I’m here to help you realize that with a little bit of planning and organization – and eager help from the recipients of said lunches – you can feed your children healthy lunches that will not only keep them satisfied throughout the school day, but will contribute to healthy brain and body growth! IN the process, you might even decide to utilize this process for take-to-work lunches!

I am a true believer in simplicity.  Keeping choices simple makes for simple decisions and successful outcomes.

Just like I plan my weekly dinners for my family, I have my kiddos plan their lunches for the week.  I have a simple list to choose from and they can pick and choose what combinations of food they want in their lunches.  I don’t change the list each week, but rather change it after about a month.

I add that to my grocery list, shop and, if they choose an item that needs to be cooked/baked, I typically do that on Sunday, when schedule is more laid back.  They are at an age now where they can help with food prep/cooking and baking. 

Get kids involved!
Over the years, I’ve realized that when they are involved in choosing their food items, the food gets eaten. When they are able to choose from a simple list, making lunches suddenly becomes routine and an easy task for them. 

A typical list would look like this:

School Lunch Menu

Mains

 
Leftovers
Cold cuts
Chicken Drumsticks
Sausages
Hard-Boiled Eggs
Tuna or Salmon, 
Burger Patties

Sides

Carrots
Tomatoes
Cucumber
Salad Greens
Peppers
Radish
Celery
Avocado
Jerky
Almond Butter
Veggie Soup
Pickles
Nuts
Trail mix with nuts, coconut shreds, seeds

Desserts

 
Fruit, especially berries
1-2x/week:

Hydration!
Juice boxes and sports drinks are nothing more than sugar-in-a-container. Get kids used to drinking water.  If you have a water-only rule for lunches, they will stop nagging you after a while.  If you get them the latest and greatest water bottles, it helps.  Even if they choose the more expensive water bottles, you will still be ahead of the game in terms of savings and health, since you will pay much, much more for the juice boxes/sports drinks and water does the body good.

Lunch Box!
Yes, they can make a difference.  Not everyone requires this purchase, but it’s amazing how this little detail can make the most impact.  Purchasing a cool little lunch box that no one else has can be just what your child needs – suddenly, the food looks more appetizing and exciting!  You can find the boxes below online.

Lunch Bots
 
Planet Box Lunch
 
Bento Box


Do you have a successful way of preparing a healthy lunch for school? What are some of your simple ways to make home lunches? Add comments below!

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