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Healthy Lunch For Kids
Lunch is Important
Lunch is a turning point in the day. Everyone knows that a good breakfast is important but that will wear off eventually and dinner is at least 5 hours away.
With the proper protein packed mid-day meal, kids and adults alike are able to maintain a level mood and great energy level. School age children will find it much easier to focus and concentrate in the latter part of their day and adults will avoid that after lunch drop in energy. A good lunch will help everyone be more productive.
Even the healthiest meals can be overdone when portion control isn’t a priority. When we consume more food that our bodies need at one time, it becomes counterproductive.
Instead of using the food for fuel, the body just wants to shut down and take a nap while it figures out how to process all of the food it was just asked to deal with.
One way to avoid the pitfall of eating everything we see because it all looks so good is to pack the meal ahead of time. It’s easier to determine an appropriate portion before we are hungry and ready to eat.
Fruits and Vegetables
Most people don’t get the recommended daily amount of fruits and vegetables during breakfast and dinner. Lunch is a great opportunity to increase the intake of both of those!
When a platter of raw vegetables and Fresh fruit is available it’s surprising how fast they will disappear.
It is important to avoid the convenience of the prepackaged foods and frozen delights. Typically those meals have most of their nutrients removed and are packed with preservatives so they will last in the grocery stores for months even before they are purchased. If you have any question regarding the remaining health value in your favorite packaged entrée, simply look at the expiration date.
If the meal contains meat or cheese and it doesn't expire within a week, it has probably had it's nutrition replaced with preservatives.
Fresh food spoils.
There are many different lunch options that include protein, complex carbohydrates and many other vitamins and nutrients.
The following is just a few suggestions for on the go and at home lunches.
Healthier Lunch Choices At Home
- Chicken Ranch Wrap
- Fish tacos
- Yogurt with protein powder and berries
- Tuna sandwich with whole wheat bread
- Mini pizzas
Healthier Lunch Box Favorites
- Classic Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich on Whole Wheat bread
- Peanut butter and whole wheat cracker sandwiches
- Carrots w/ dip (gluten free option below)
- Trail mix
- Peanut butter and banana or peanut butter and honey sandwich
- Peanut Butter or Oatmeal Protein Cookie
- Chocolate or Vanilla Chia pudding
- Celery with peanut butter
- Mini bottled water in the lunch box instead of sugary juice or soda
Mini Pizza Ingredients
- Whole Grain English Muffin
- 8 turkey pepperoni slices
- ¼ cup cooked chicken breast
- 1/8 cup pizza sauce
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
- Build the English muffin like a pizza. Add the toppings suggested above or use your usual pizza favorites.
- Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy immediately or pack it in the next day’s lunch
- Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories: 330.6
- Total Fat: 19.0 g
- Cholesterol: 77.5 mg
- Sodium: 686.4 mg
- Total Carbs: 27.7 g
- Dietary Fiber: 4.4 g
- Protein: 35.4 g
Gluten Free Dip Ingredients:
- 1 ¼ cup gluten free mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon dried chives
- ½ teaspoon dried parsley
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon dried dill weed
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Dash black pepper
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill for 1-2 hours
- This dip tastes really good with vegetables and tortilla chips!
Are you willing to try healthier lunch Options?
Servings Per Recipe: 10
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat: 20.0 g
Cholesterol: 10.0 mg
Sodium: 180.3 mg
Total Carbs: 0.2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 0.1 g
Fish Taco Ingredients:
- 3 ounces white fish, Tilapia or Cod work really well
- 1 medium sized whole wheat tortilla
- 1 tablespoon chipotle aioli sauce
- ¼ cup shredded iceberg lettuce
- ¼ cup diced tomatoes
- In a small skillet cook fish filet in 1 teaspoon olive or safflower oil with cover, for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side
- Spread chipotle aioli on medium whole wheat tortilla
- Place fish, shredded lettuce and diced tomato in tortilla and enjoy!
Breakfast and Dinner Too!
- Healthy Breakfast for Kids
Why Breakfast is Important Breakfast is the meal that determines how the body will perform for the rest of the day. This is the meal that can jump start the metabolism and wake up the brain. When kids start the day with protein and complex carbohydra
- Healthy Dinner for Kids
Feeding ones body the fuel it needs to perform is important for all people, it is especially crucial for children and teenagers. Their bodies and brains are growing and developing at an enormous rate. If kids don’t have the nutrients they need to gro
- Servings Per Recipe: 1
- Amount Per Serving
- Calories: 246.7
- Total Fat: 7.0 g
- Cholesterol: 44.0 mg
- Sodium: 536.5 mg
- Total Carbs: 27.4 g
- Dietary Fiber: 4.8 g
- Protein: 21.5 g