Santa Barbara
57° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
Santa Maria
48° F
Scattered Clouds
Scattered Clouds
San Luis Obispo
52° F
Clear
Clear
Ventura
50° F
Clear
Clear

Pack fun, healthy lunches for your child

By By Lyn Lomasi, Contributing writer
Published On: Sep 07 2011 08:00:19 AM CDT
Updated On: Sep 03 2013 10:12:21 AM CDT
school lunch

©iStockphoto.com/Juanmonino

If your child thinks "healthy" is another word for "boring," it's time to pack lunches that spice things up while still maintaining a healthy, nutritional edge. Here are some tips for doing just that.

Think Portable

The perfect lunch for kids needs to be portable. While a bowl of whole wheat spaghetti noodles topped with homemade marinara sauce may be fun, tasty and healthy, it isn't exactly the easiest lunch for a child to carry, nor is there a way to heat it up come lunchtime. When choosing lunches, choose items that can fit into plastic bags or Tupperware, are light in weight, and require little to no preparation. MamasHealth.com suggests avoiding things like eggs, meat, mayonnaise and yogurt if no refrigeration will be available. There's also the alternative of placing a freezer bag in with the lunch, provided the container and contents are waterproof and leakproof.

Think Fun

Kids like to play with their food. It's just a fact of life that parents have to deal with. You might as well make the food even more desirable and fun. Cheese wedges can be cut into fun shapes using small cookie cutters. The same can be done with Jell-o, sandwich squares and other soft food items. Characters from favorite television shows can also be fun; some healthy foods feature characters on the packages. Also, placing little personal notes or surprises in with a child's lunch can make him or her feel special.

Think Healthy

Water is the healthiest drink. However, some kids won't go for that every day. According to MSNBC.com, some healthful options for packing the perfect lunch include 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, low-fat milk, or lightly sweetened tea. Bread can sometimes get smashed. Try packing crackers, cheese and lean meat in small plastic containers. Kids can create sandwiches from those. If your kids won't part ways with peanut butter and jelly, try a 100 percent fruit spread. Tuna is another healthful sandwich option that can be used with either crackers or bread. Try mixing celery and carrots in with the tuna salad to get in those veggie servings. Raisins, carrot sticks, cheese cubes, sliced fruit, pretzels and trail mix (unsalted, unsweetened) can all make healthy-but-fun sides.

Don't Forget Yummy

Unless you want that lunch coming back home untouched with a hungry kid, the perfect lunch needs to also be tasty. One way to do this is to let the kids pick what they like from a list of healthy items. Even let them come to the store and shop for the preselected items themselves.

Add variety

The perfect lunch is not going to be the same exact lunch every day. For the best results, be sure to mix up choices.

Comments

The views expressed are not those of this company or its affiliated companies. Please note by clicking on "Post" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms Of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. 
blog comments powered by Disqus
  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Witnesses to Fatal Crash

    Eyewitnesses See Triple Fatal Crash from Roadside Camp

    A homeless couple watching the freeway from their campsite in Santa Barbara this morning, witnessed the triple fatal accident that took the lives of two teens and a young man.

  • Triple Fatal Auto Accident on Highway

    DUI Driver in Fatal Early Morning Accident Ordered to Detox Program in 1995

    The Santa Barbara woman arrested for DUI in the early morning accident that left three people dead early Monday morning has a lengthy court record out of Ventura County. Kimberly Kreis, 52, was ordered to serve 30 days in a detox program as far back as 1995.

    The car that Kreis was driving crashed into a disabled Mazda near the Castillo off-ramp of the southbound 101 freeway in Santa Barbara. Two 17 year old North Torrance High School students were killed in the accident- Jessica Leffew and Danielle Murillo. 20 year old Brian Lopez also died in the wreck. The driver of the Mazda, Eric August, is hospitalized in critical condition.

    A NewsChannel 3 investigation found records out of Ventrua County that appear to show that Greis has at least one prior conviction involving drugs and or alcohol, and in 1995 she was ordered to serve 30 days in a Cottage Hospital detox program.

    CHP investigators are still trying to piece together why the Mazda veered right into a guardrail, causing it to flip onto it's roof before coming to rest in the middle of the southbound freeway, which set into motion the deadly accident.

    CHP Officer Jonathan Guiterrez, said "A lot of things could have happened, He could have fallen asleep. We just don't know at this point."

  • Santa Barbara Fatal Accident Folo

    Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

    An extensive investigation is underway to determine the cause of death in a triple fatal rollover accident Monday morning in Santa Barbara.

  • fuzion_store_business_santa_barbara

    UCSB Group Boycotts Business For Promoting Deltopia

    A UCSB student group is boycotting a local business for creating the Deltopia Facebook page, which they said brought in thousands of outsiders to the small college town.

  • girl_child_coughing_sick_whooping_cough

    Contagious Diseases Making a Comeback in California

    Deadly diseases that were a thing of the past are making a comeback in California.

  • Parents of Mallory Dies Sue Congresswoman, Her Former Aide, and U.S. Government

    The parents of a young Santa Barbara woman killed in a high profile, DUI case are suing Congresswoman Lois Capps, her former aide Raymond Morua, and the U-S government in federal court.

  • Larry Lee Cal Poly Coach

    Cal Poly Baseball Earns No. 1 National Ranking

    The Mustangs achieved the school's second No. 1 national ranking in Division I as Collegiate Baseball Newspaper has placed Cal Poly atop its Top 30.

  • Slideshow: 3 Dead In Early Morning Accident, Driver Arrested For DUI

    The 101 southbound through Santa Barbara reopened just before 12:30 Monday afternoon as authorities investigate what they say was a deadly two car DUI accident.

  • Who's the Boss blurb image

    Sony Pictures Television

    Where are 'Who's the Boss?' stars now?

    With Tony Danza marking his 63rd birthday on Monday, join us for a look at what he and the rest of the cast of "Who's the Boss?" are up to today.