Raising a family is a lot of work – just ask Mom VG! She had four of us in a row, and spent countless hours making sure we were happy, healthy, educated and well cared for. She instilled strong values in all of us, taught us how to work hard and be kind, and generally prepared us to be good people. (We think it worked!)
Parenting is wonderful, but it’s exhausting – something we understand firsthand now that we’re adults and parents ourselves. When your kids are young, you’re constantly making snacks and meals – and then the school years start, and a new challenge begins: school lunches.
School lunches are a challenge for several reasons. The food needs to travel well, keep well in a hot thermos or lunch bag with an ice pack, and be comprised of things your kids will actually eat. It definitely has to be nut-free, and it may have to be free of other food allergens if there is a specific issue in your child’s class. Knowing all of this, packing a lunch Every. Single. Day. can be daunting – but don’t worry. We’ve got some great ideas to get you started.
Go Snack Style
Kids love to nibble on finger foods and often do better with a bento-style bunch of small items (vs a large sandwich). Our Little VeeGees pepperettes are a great way to add protein to this type of lunch. Cut them up however your child is most likely to eat them, and pack along with slices of cheese, some raw veggies, apple slices and even pickles or olive. (My five-year-old daughter loves olives and can smell them a mile away.) Pro tip: squeeze from lemon juice over the apple slices so they don’t go brown in the lunch box.
Make Use of Leftovers
If your kids loved last night’s dinner, send it to school for lunch the next day! You can put soup or stew in a thermos, send sliced roast from the previous night’s dinner with veggies and Goldfish crackers on the side, or even make use of leftover Yorkshire puddings by using them as a bun. Extra chicken can be cut up and made into chicken salad for sandwiches, or tossed with some chilled, cooked pasta and their favourite dressing.
Wrap It Up
A wrap is a great, healthy lunch that travels well and is often a hit with kids. Make one with sliced pork, chicken or beef plus iceberg lettuce, grated cheese and a bit of mayonnaise. Cucumber goes well in most wraps, and baby spinach adds a healthy dose of greens. Modify your wrap to suit your kids’ eating habits, send along with a yogurt cup, some fruit and a granola bar or other snack, and you’ve got yourself an easy lunch.
What lunch ideas are a hit in your home? Tweet us or comment on Facebook to let us know!