Most kids (including my 5-year-old) can eat a rotation of Mac & Cheese, Pizza or Cheese Quesadilla for lunch and dinner everyday. My wife and I enjoy lots of different ethnic cuisines and want our kids to have broader taste buds as well. Sometimes it is hard to make the school lunch box and after-school snacks interest, different, healthy and fun – so when I came across the following article from Parents.Com, I found it fantastic! Fun & Healthy recipies…and I’m a big fan of the bento style lunches – provides good variety for a balanced meal! The article provides great “themed” bento lunches – give it a try and make a switch from Mac & Cheese! Heck, these lunches look so good I want my wife to make them for me for work! LOL! 🙂
Even though the school year is coming to a close soon, there’s still summer camp/school and early prep and ideas for the Fall!
Healthy School Lunches & Snacks
The simplest and healthiest foods look extra-yummy when they’re tucked inside colorful little compartments. That’s the idea behind Laptop Lunches, the company that sells these cute plastic sets (starting at $21; laptoplunches.com). We filled the containers with a protein, some fruit, a vegetable, and a small treat — all in perfect-size portions for kids 5 to 8.
All Dressed Up
* 1 cup bow-tie pasta salad with veggies
* 1 cup baby greens salad with 2 tablespoons low-fat dressing
* 3/4 cup watermelon
* 2 fig cookies
- Ham, turkey, and cheese rolled up together, sliced, and skewered with pretzel sticks
- 1/2 cup mandarin oranges
- 1/2 cup shelled edamame
- 1 container (4 ounces) fat-free chocolate pudding
- Sliced hard-boiled egg and 2 mini whole-grain waffles
- Bell-pepper strips
- 1 sliced kiwi fruit mixed with a few blackberries
- Mini corn muffin
- String cheese and a handful of whole wheat crackers
- 1 cup broccoli and cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons light raspberry dressing
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- Slice of banana bread
- 1 cup bean salad
- 1/2 cup melon wedges
- Handful of whole-grain tortilla chips with 2 tablespoons salsa
- 8 cubes of reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 slice leftover cold veggie pizza cut into squares
- 3/4 cup cucumber moons with 2 tablespoons hummus
- 1/2 cup purple grapes
- 1/2 cup popcorn
- 2 mini whole wheat pita pockets with grilled-chicken strips and veggies
- 3/4 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
- 8 animal crackers
These creative combos add up to one-of-a-kind after-school treats.
Sesame sticks + chopped cereal-nut bars + dried pineapple
Mini pita chips + soy nuts + mini chocolate chips
Mini pretzels twists + cashews + dried cranberries
Low-fat granola + sunflower seeds + dried apricots
Dried papaya + whole-grain cereal + golden raisins
Almonds + M&M’s + dried mango
Round out your kid’s lunch with healthy, ready-to-go products.
These nuggets of freshly roasted nuts are ideal for slow eaters. Six pieces contain 170 calories and 5 grams of protein ($3.50 for a 5-1/2-ounce bag).
Puzzle-shaped pretzels come in large and individual-size bags ($17 for six 12-ounce bags).
These crunchy twists in child-friendly flavors like white cheddar and ranch are made from brown rice and packed with whole grains ($3 for a 4-1/2-ounce bag).
Toss a mini bag of this granola — along with a container of yogurt and a piece of fruit — into your child’s lunchbox. Kids will probably like the honey-almond variety the best ($4 for five 1-1/2-ounce bags).
Originally published in the September 2008 issue of Parents magazine.
http://www.parents.comBringing together the power of respected magazine brands including American Baby and Parents, the Parents Network is your go-to destination for parenting information. From first kicks to first steps and on to the first day of school, we are here to help you celebrate the joys and navigate the challenges of parenthood.
- Parent’s Guide to Kid’s Healthy Snacking (declutterorganizerepurpose.wordpress.com)
- Brown-Bag Lunches and Snacks for Work or School (webmd.com)
- Tips for Packing Kids Summer & Camp Lunches for Fun! (hbculifestyle.com)
- Healthy Snacks for Kids: Recipes, School Snacks, and More (webmd.com)
- Fast Food Alternatives – Make & Take! (declutterorganizerepurpose.wordpress.com)
- Simple Healthy Snacks for Kids (children.webmd.com)
- Healthy & Fun School Lunches & Snacks! (declutterorganizerepurpose.wordpress.com)
- 10 Healthy After School Snack Ideas That Won’t Break the Bank (education.com)
- Make Lunch like a Celebrity Chef! (declutterorganizerepurpose.wordpress.com)