Who needs school lunch ideas???
I cannot believe that school is starting up again next week! That means I’m already thinking about ideas for packing nutritious lunches. How about you?
There are lots and lots of great ideas out there that don’t include high-volume pre-packaged and processed “foods” (AKA “food-like products”). More often than not, those pre-packaged whole lunch solutions have whopping sodium levels. And most snacks (i.e. granola bars, fruit snacks, cereals, crackers, etc.) contain several sources of sugar, very poor sources of fat (hydrogenated), and next to no nutrients, including protein or fiber.
By the way, protein and fiber are your two main nutrients to maintain the sense of fullness/satiety. This is important for kids who have to go 2 hours or more between meals/snacks at school – you don’t want them to feel hungry, lethargic, dizzy, inattentive or hangry at school, do you?
Foods that contain large amounts of fat, sugar, and/or starch have low Fullness Factors, and are much easier to overeat. Foods that contain large amounts of water, dietary fiber, and/or protein have the highest Fullness Factors. These high-FF foods, which include most vegetables, fruits, and lean meats, do a better job of satisfying your hunger.
Check your labels before you buy anything! And better yet, buy more ingredients (y’know – REAL food) rather than pre-made foods…Just sayin’.
I’ve done a “round up” of
a few lots of posts full of nutritious lunch ideas made with REAL food. Enjoy these inspiring ideas, tips, and recipes that can help to make your school lunch prep easier. Hopefully you can get a few sparks of inspiration, and maybe a new killer recipe or two.
And feel free to bookmark this page so you can refer back to it when your lunch routine starts getting dreary. There are tons of ideas here.
*Of course, you need to consider any restrictions imposed by the school(s) (No nuts? No shellfish?). As well as your child’s sensitivities and preferences.
Lunch Supplies & Strategies
I’ve totally saved the best for last: if you have 3:13 minutes, I HIGHLY recommend watching this short video by an Ottawa-based obesity physician about a certain fruit snack that may appear to be a healthy choice for your kids. It’s awesome! 🙂
- Do you have other favourite nutritious whole-food school lunch ideas?
- Did any of these links totally inspire you?
Let us know by sharing in the comments below – Thanks!