Tips For Packing Healthy School Lunches
Beau's first tip for packing a healthy school lunch is to make sure you're really paying attention to what's going into their boxes. "I always recommend getting a good lunchbox with a couple compartments, such as a bento-style lunchbox, instead of just tossing food in a bag. This makes it easier to pay attention to what you're packing in order to make healthier choices. . . plus these boxes can last for multiple school years," he told POPSUGAR.
"You have to remember they are still kids — so yes, you will want to pack lots of fruits and veggies, but you have to balance that with things they love as well."
"Another good practice is to get into the routine of packing lunches the night before. This way you aren't trying to make healthy food choices while you are stressed out finding shoes, making sure teeth are brushed and signing 75 permission slips. At the end of the day though, you have to remember they are still kids — so yes, you will want to pack lots of fruits and veggies, but you have to balance that with things they love as well. One way I do that is to incorporate Smucker's Natural Strawberry Fruit Spreads. It's delicious and sweet so my kids love it, but I also feel good because I know fruit is the first ingredient and it isn't made with high fructose corn syrup. I look for the win-win!"
When it comes to making sure that kids are actually eating the "healthy stuff" and not going straight for their lunch dessert treats, Beau's got a tip for that, too. "We actually don't pack many desserts or treats in our kids' lunches. When we do, they are always balanced by plenty of fruits and vegetables. We aren't concerned about the order they eat the food in their lunches as long as they do try the healthier options," he said. "One thing that has helped is talking to our kids about foods that they like and don't like. . . Sometimes knowing these small details can be the difference between them devouring the sandwich or the food coming back home after school. Kids' taste buds seem to change by the week so these conversations help us not only to pack wholesome options that they already enjoy, but also talk to them about new foods that we would like them to try."
One of Beau's easiest tips for making school lunch packing more manageable? "Move dinner leftovers straight from the table into a lunchbox. You have to clean up the food anyway and this saves you from having to make lunches later that night or the next morning."