When you think about school lunch boxes peanut butter and jam, or ham and cheese sandwiches always come to mind. While sandwiches make a nice school lunch they're certainly not your only option. Mix it up by packing something different for your kids this school year. Going beyond the sandwich will ensure that they eat more of their school lunches!
Make It A Wrap
A quick and easy alternative to a sandwich is a wrap. There's a large variety of different wraps available at most grocery stores. Grab some tortillas and make your child's favourite sandwich into a wrap. Wraps are also a great opportunity to mix it up a bit. They're perfect for sneaking in lots of lettuce and extra vegetables. Hummus and cucumber are a delicious vegetarian option for meat-free Mondays.
When you're done putting your wrap together roll it up tight like a burrito and cut it in half. I like to add a side of crudites and dressing. Lexi has recently discovered ranch dressing and loves to dip carrot ticks in it. Put your dressing or dip in a separate container to prevent it from covering everything else in the lunch box (ask me, I know!).
Who Doesn't Love Snack Food?
I have yet to meet a child that doesn't love snacky finger foods. It's easy to make a great, healthy lunch box filled with foods that you know your child loves and will eat. Lexi's favourite packed lunch is a charcuterie board in a lunchbox.
I start with meat that she loves (I choose nitrite free, cured meats) and cheese cut into bite size pieces. I add fresh, raw vegetables like sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes and baby carrots. Next I add pickles and olives. Lexi loves fresh berries and nuts with this type of lunch, so I add them in a separate compartment.
A great addition is seed crackers and cream cheese. The cream cheese is delicious on the crackers or for dipping the vegetables into.
Healthy Salads For Lunch
Salads are an unlikely option, but a deconstructed salad is a great lunch option, particularly for older children. Get a bento box with dividers and a tight fitting lid. Add all your child's favourite salad ingredients, minus the dressing. Start with lettuce, add raw vegetables, bacon bits, nuts and seeds. Top it with a source of protein like hard boiled egg, some grilled chicken or bits of biltong.
Pack dressing in a separate container along with a fork and serviette. You can assemble salads a few days ahead with the help of your kids and store in the fridge. The key is to make sure that your ingredients are dry. After washing your lettuce use a salad spinner or dry it before packing it. Cutting everything into small bite-sized pieces will ensure that lunch time salad is quick and easy to eat (leaving time for play!).