Do you sometimes wonder if the lunch and afternoon snacks provided to your kids are the best and healthiest option? Anyone, including schools might turn to the industrial option when time is tight, and those are frequently full of sugar and unhealthy fats. What if there were ways of spending just a few minutes in the kitchen and coming up with healthy lunch box ideas for the kids?
Before going into the nitty gritty, into the details of our suggestions, we would like to put this fact out there. All snacks need to pass the test of these two requirements to be considered healthy.
1. They should be made of high-quality ingredients – which means real food.
2. They require spending some time in the kitchen (about 10 to 15 minutes).
Since we got that out of the way, here are some simple and healthy lunch box ideas that will help you prepare delicious and nutritious breakfasts and snacks for your kids.
Make kids go nuts with fruits and nuts
The key to a healthy lunch box is fresh and high-quality ingredients. Although usually wrapped in a small package, pre-made snacks could pack the most nasties. The most natural, nutritious and quick alternative for a snack is always a handful of seasonal fruits mixed with a handful of nuts such as almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts. The fresher the fruits and nuts, the better. That means, try avoiding roasted nuts. This snack is a cocktail of nutrition, as well as a good fuel source.
No matter how many times brands write “all-natural” on their juices, industrial fruit juices are never the same thing as the fruit itself. Industrial juices are rich in added sugars and usually receive heat treatment that destroys their vitamins. If the time and energy to squeeze the juice out of fruits seem like too much work, remember, you can always serve the fruit whole or sliced up, or pop the fruits and some veg in a vacuum blender to whip up a deliciously nutritious shake.
Sliced up is one of the most fun ways to serve fruit because you can even make your own creations out of it! You can arrange fruits and nuts to make shapes or faces, or you can even turn the nuts or seeds into a paste, like tahini. Grated coconut is always a fun ingredient and adds that element of yummy to any banana or apple.
Don’t forget the sandwich option
Sandwiches are a classic ingredient of lunch boxes because they are easy to make. They can also be very nutritious and healthy if you follow these tips.
1. The way to a healthy and delicious sandwich starts with the bread. If you’re not making your own, we suggest you buy your bread from the bakery. Make sure it is made from whole grain flour and went through a slow fermentation process.
2. Now comes the fun part: the filling! Avoid processed products like cold meats, commercial sauces and hazelnut cream. Instead, use fresh and natural ingredients like
- Vegetable pâté
- Homemade hazelnut cream
- Fresh goat or sheep cheese with a spoonful of raw honey
- Even an omelette!
With a little bit of imagination, you’ll be able to come up with lots of personalised lunch box ideas for your kids. With a little time and effort, you can prepare some cool and equally healthy lunch boxes.
Whatever recipe you choose, just remember these tips:
- First, if you use flour, make it whole grain.
- If you want to sweeten things up, use natural ingredients like fresh or dried fruit (dates, dried apricots, raisins), cinnamon, vanilla, carob or honey.
- Finally, organic, unprocessed food is always the better option.