How to Pack a Healthy School Lunch That Your Kids Will Actually Eat
With the beginning of the school year right around the corner, parents across the nation are thinking of ways to improve lunch options for their kids. School districts are starting to work toward providing healthier choices, but what is currently available in most lunchrooms is far from ideal. Kids need proper nutrition to do their best during the school day, and sending them off with a healthy lunch that has been packed with care is an excellent way to meet that goal. The team at Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry would like to share the following tips on how to pack a lunch that your kids will devour.
Break Away From the Norm
Think beyond the standard peanut butter or ham and cheese sandwiches, and give your kids something unique. Deli meat and cheese can be rolled up in tortillas and cut crosswise into colorful pinwheels that are perfectly bite-sized. Baked or freeze dried vegetable chips are a great alternative to greasy potato chips. There are also tons of recipes online for nutrition-packed bites formed by rolling peanut butter, oats, dried fruit and grains into balls or squares. Yogurt and granola are an awesome departure from average lunch fare, and more adventurous parents can even create their own spring rolls with rice paper wrappers and fresh vegetables.
Presentation is Everything
Every parent knows that kids are more interested in food that is presented in an unexpected way. When it comes to getting kids to try new things, bento boxes are hard to beat. These small hard-sided lunchboxes are divided into small sections. You can fill each box-within-a-box with a different food choice, allowing kids to pick and choose what they want to try. Bento boxes are a good way to offer cut vegetables and a healthy dip, and eating crunchy vegetables like carrots or celery is a great way to clean bacteria and sticky food off of the surface of the teeth.
Don't Forget About Dessert
Want to get your kids excited about their school lunch? Include a dessert choice that is sure to please. Lunch desserts do not have to be sugar-laden or overly complicated. Nut clusters dipped in a bit of melted dark chocolate are a yummy way to end a meal, as are yogurt covered raisins or dried pieces of fruit mixed with a few chocolate chips. Giving kids something to look forward to is a great way to get them excited to open their lunch every day. A handwritten note from Mom or Dad is also a sweet addition to any lunch.
At Wright Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, we love meeting new patients and getting to know their families. We know that as you prepare to send the kids back to school, keeping them happy and healthy is a top priority. When the time comes to schedule a dental check-up, please call us to set up a time that meets your needs.