Alumnos de escuela primaria con almuerzo saludable

Ideas for preparing delicious and nutritious lunch boxes

While making your life easier, you can ensure your kids are eating healthy

If there’s one thing that requires a lot of creativity it’s the planning of weekly meals, especially for parents with kids in school. And although this is part of the family routine, perhaps you get to a point when you ask yourself what to do to keep them well-nourished and, at the same time, get them to enjoy what they have in their lunch box.

If it’s getting difficult for you to choose what to give your kids for lunch every day, the solution lies in three words: variety, fun, and innovation. The first means combining food groups, for example, carbohydrates with proteins and vegetables; the second means getting your child involved in picking the food and - why not - in the prep and packing; and the third encourages you to try new recipes, at least once a week.

Lunch is one of the most important meals of the day. So here we’re giving you a few ideas and tips to make your life easier.

Padres e hijos pueden planificar los almuerzos©iStock
Your children can take part in planning what goes into their lunch boxes

Four categories

Your kids’ lunch should have four things that are easy to remember: main meal, vegetables, fruit, and snack. A successful lunch will depend on the combinations you come up with. The main meal is the most important and should always include a protein. Sandwiches are the favorite in this category. But if your child is not a big fan of bread, then you can include a chicken or turkey breast cut into strips.

Other options? Here’s a list:

-Mini meatballs

-Pasta or pizza cut into little pieces

-Peeled and salted hard-boiled eggs

-Ground beef with a tortilla

-Grilled chicken breast

-Quesadillas

nLunch box con carbohidratos, proteínas y verduras©iStock
Avoid including processed drinks and junk food

The snacks are what adds your personal touch to indulge them and help them enjoy their lunch. In this category you can include: popcorn, pretzels, broccoli, snack crackers, rice cakes, or cheese cubes or slices.

The fruit category is the broadest and will depend - to a great extent - on what your child likes. Some options include the following:

-Berries: cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, or sliced strawberries

-Pieces of banana, pear, or peeled kiwi

-Watermelon, mango, or pineapple

-Pomegranate seeds

-Figs

nLunch box con panqueque y frutas©iStock
Creativity and innovation are key in getting your kids to enjoy their school lunches

Want some vegetarian ideas?

In this case, creativity counts as well. Here are some options:

-Cucumber slices with lemon and salt

-Celery sticks, plain or with peanut butter

-Sliced carrots

-Grilled broccoli, Brussels sprouts, artichoke hearts, or asparagus

-Rice with boiled cauliflower

Los niños deben tener un almuerzo saludable©iStock
Whatever you decide to give your children for lunch, make sure that the food is nutritious and that you want them to eat it

Tips and advice

You can also add some leftovers from homemade meals in the lunch box. To prevent your kids from eating around the healthy options, the experts recommend avoiding processed drinks, like juices and soda pop, and not including any sort of junk food.

And remember that it’s important you have sturdy, reusable containers, so they can be used every day. Follow these suggestions and you’ll realize that worrying about your children’s school meals becomes a thing of the past.

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