Our Better Stuff

If you aren’t already engrossed in the trenches of back-to-school, you will be soon enough. And every parent can tell you that it’s not exactly a picnic, trying to find the time to pack good, healthy lunches that their kids will actually eat. I mean, what parent hasn’t felt that twinge of guilt when your child looks up at you, lovingly, and asks, “Why can’t I eat the chicken nuggets that all my friends get to eat?”

If you’re like me, you have the speech already memorized and can recite it with perfection: “I don’t let you eat that bad stuff because I love you. That food is very unhealthy for your body and could cause a lot of problems for you in the future.” And on and on…you get the picture.

Well, what if you could make their lunches delicious and exciting, without having to commit to hours of planning and prepping? Let me share some ideas that I have found to be effective with my little ones in getting them to gobble up their lunch.

• Proteins
Almond butter & granola apple sandwiches: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/apple-sandwiches-granola-and-peanut-butter - I substitute almond butter for peanut butter.

Taco Pita Pockets:
http://www.superhealthykids.com/healthy-kids-recipes/healthy-lunch-idea-taco-pitas.php - I also like to get nice, big pieces of bib lettuce and make lettuce wraps this way.

• Veggies
Yogurt Dip: http://www.npr.org/2012/07/03/156204305/vegetables-and-yogurt-dip - My children used to refuse to eat their veggies, but this dip changed it all!

Veggie Pinwheels with Hummus: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/grilled-veggie-pinwheels - I’ll have my wonderful husband grill the veggies the night before and store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

• Fruits
Fun-Shaped Fruit Kabobs:
You don’t really need a recipe for this one; the goal is to add lots of different colors and give them the convenience of not have to peel or spit seeds.

• Snacks
Way Better Snacks:
It’s that simple; these snacks already pack a nutritious punch. If you want to add a freshly-made salsa or guacamole, that’s a great way to bring in the veggies and/or protein.

• Love & fun
Personal Note:
Tell them to have a good day, tell them you love them, and tell them a special memory you have of them. Makes them feel very loved.

Fun Fact Cards:
Share interesting facts (all it takes is a quick Google search) – educates and entertains.

Remember, these ideas can be easy, and your child will love the fun you put into it. And at the end of the day, you’re creating life-long habits that will follow your children!

Veggie dip