- Old-fashioned oatmeal with cinnamon, raisins, honey. Oatmeal in a thermos.
- Fruit smoothie with milk, yogurt, fruit and nuts. (The protein makes you feel full longer).
- A whole orange, including the
pulp (instead of pulp-free orange juice which has been
pasteurized—heating it high enough to kill bacteria which also kills
some of the heat-sensitive vitamins and anti-oxidants). Pulp provides
fiber and antioxidants.
- Whole grain toast with peanut
or almond butter and honey. (White bread has removed the bran (fiber
and antioxidants) and the wheat germ (vitamins), leaving the starchy
- Granola or granola bars (make your own—it’s cheaper and healthier)
- Pancakes, waffles or French toast, and go light on the syrup.
- Egg and toast (hard boil eggs the night before)
- Create a list of healthy Lunch Box ideas, and post it on your refrigerator. Share your list with your friends and schools. It could include:
- Eat the Rainbow! More food colors, equals more nutrition.
- Fruit (applesauce, cherries,
grapes, melon chunks, kiwi, pineapple wedges, apples, pears, apricots,
plums, peaches, raisins, dried fruit or fruit leather). Put sliced
fruit (banana, raisins) and a little honey on peanut butter sandwiches,
instead of jelly. Do not peel apples—that is where much of the
- Dips for fruit, veggies and whole grain tortilla chips—dips like Ranch dressing, yogurt, hummus and peanut butter.
- Veggies instead of chips
(cherry tomatoes, carrots, celery sticks stuffed with peanut butter,
broccoli, and cucumber circles). Most kids will eat any vegetable they
can “dip” into something like into Ranch dressing. Make healthy Ranch
dip with yogurt as the base instead of mayo or sour cream.
- Cheese, string cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt.
- A variety of breads from
whole wheat—English muffins, bagels, wraps, rolls, pita/pocket bread,
crackers, graham crackers, pretzels. Use cookie cutters to cut sandwich
bread into fun shapes.
- Sandwich fillings on whole
grain roll-ups (tortillas). Tuna fish, egg salad, deli meat and
cheese. Add meat, mayo, mustard, veggies; roll up and cut in bite-size
When buying Lettuce
– the greener the better. Leafy green lettuce is better than iceberg.
The greener lettuce has twice as much calcium, twice as much magnesium,
and 3 times more Vitamin C.
Use other butters, like almond, to avoid issues with peanut allergies in the classroom.
- Trail mix made at home with nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, raisins, popcorn, and sunflower seeds.
- Juice or water, instead of sugary drinks.
- Leftovers transform dinner leftovers into fun lunches.
- Soup or chili in a thermos.
- Miscellaneous – beef jerky, granola bars, popcorn, English muffin pizza…
- Notes. Don’t forget to
include notes from family members, cartoons, short articles, miniature
toys, Birthday cards, stickers, even a fortune cookie—in a lunch sack.
Make your child smile, and let him know you are thinking of him.
- Teach your children to help prepare their own healthy school lunches.
- Use ice packs to keep COLD food cold, and thermoses to keep the HOT food hot.
Make lunches the evening before to avoid the morning rush. Making them right after dinner encourages everyone to help clean up from both dinner and lunches.