If you're already stumped on what to pack in your child's lunchbox, Fox 4 is showing you 10 easy, healthy lunch ideas.
Licensed Dietitian Katherine Shary says what you pack in their lunchbox will be the key to keeping your child fueled and focused throughout the school day. She's with Children's Heathcare of Atlanta's Strong4Life.
"Lunches should have a fruit, a vegetable, a protein, or a fat to help keep them fuller longer and a whole grain for some carbohydrates," she said.
She has 10 recommendations on balanced meals to pack:
- A cold whole-wheat pasta salad with some veggies and Italian dressing. Add a couple hard-boiled eggs for protein and some fruit.
- A homemade lunchable with deli meat and cheese.
- Rotisserie chicken with a guacamole cup, carrots for dipping, and grapes.
- Make your own nut butter cracker sandwiches. Add in some berries, and sliced veggies with cottage cheese or Greek yogurt on the side or to dip.
- Pack up your kid’s favorite taco Tuesday ingredients and send them with some deconstructed tacos.
- Chicken salad without the sandwich. Add some whole-wheat crackers, fruits and veggies.
- Meat and cheese roll-ups. Add in a banana, some hummus, and celery and pita for dipping.
- Leftover pasta with fruit and their favorite vegetable on the side.
- A whole-wheat tortilla to make a wrap with meat, cheese and lettuce with ranch to dip
- Cube some chicken and add barbecue sauce, some homemade trail mix, and carrots and pineapple.
"Just some different ways where maybe it's the same foods, but it's presented a little differently is also exciting for the child," Shary said.
Shary also said to let your child help pack the lunch. Take them with you to the grocery store to let them pick the fruits, veggies, or other foods they want each week. That will make them feel like they’re part of the decisions, and more likely to eat what you pack.