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Healthy Lunch For Kids

Updated on August 15, 2014
Chicken Ranch Wrap
Chicken Ranch Wrap | Source

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.

Portion Control

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.

Carrots and Dip
Carrots and Dip | Source
Celery with peanut butter and whole wheat cracker peanut butter sandwiches
Celery with peanut butter and whole wheat cracker peanut butter sandwiches | Source

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.

Healthier Options

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.

Chicken Ranch Wrap
Chicken Ranch Wrap | Source

Healthier Lunch Choices At Home

  • Chicken Ranch Wrap
  • Fish tacos
  • Yogurt with protein powder and berries
  • Tuna sandwich with whole wheat bread
  • Mini pizzas

Mini Pizza Ingredients:
Mini Pizza Ingredients: | Source

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

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Build the English muffin like a pizza. Add the toppings suggested above or use your usual pizza favorites.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy immediately or pack it in the next day’s lunch

Mini Pizza
Mini Pizza | Source

Nutritional Information:

  • 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

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl and chill for 1-2 hours
  2. This dip tastes really good with vegetables and tortilla chips!

Are you willing to try healthier lunch Options?

5 stars from 2 ratings of Healthier Lunches

Nutritional Information:

Servings Per Recipe: 10

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 181.0

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

Directions:

  1. In a small skillet cook fish filet in 1 teaspoon olive or safflower oil with cover, for approximately 2-3 minutes on each side
  2. Spread chipotle aioli on medium whole wheat tortilla
  3. Place fish, shredded lettuce and diced tomato in tortilla and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

  • 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

Comments

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    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you Netlemere, let me know what you think :)

    • Nettlemere profile image

      Nettlemere 5 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

      I'm so unimaginative with food I'd never even thought of trying celery with peanut butter. Both foods which I like, got to give it a go!

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      Thank you so much! ;)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Your hard work on this hub shows and it is wonderfully done. I would enjoy these simple snacks as well. My favorite is the pizza!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      LOL......without supervision at that age......breakfast is chocolate cake, isn't it? I know that's what I would have eaten when I was 10....(I'll never admit that I do it now!!)

      Don't know what's so "crazy" about the age difference......My sons are 44 & 42............and 33 & 31. Think we know where we're both coming from??

    • roxanne459 profile image
      Author

      Roxanne Lewis 5 years ago from Washington

      fpherj48, I have a 23 year old who is out conquering the world and two little guys who are home with us (crazy age difference I know!) so I know what you mean. They usually just have eat what is given them but I'm trying to teach them to prepare their own lunch's and sometimes breakfast with my supervision. (the boys are 10 and 11) I figured that if I didn't put some food choices down on paper they would try to eat the easiest and unhealthiest thing they can find. ;)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      roxanne....Now here are some really great lunches for kids. I am feeding my grandsons, the 3 days a week that Gram "supervises" while Mom and Dad work. My one little guy (6yrs.old) never fails to concern me with his "fussiness" when it comes to eating nutritiously.

      The dish you offer here with celery & peanut butter & grapes, etc....that has always gone over well (also celery & cream cheese) and wheat crackers. It's a healthy lunch/snack...that I know they will eat.

      Having to become "creative" is an ongoing adventure for me. Back in the day....with my own kids.....the food went on the table and it was simply understood......"if you're hungry, you will eat....if you turn your nose up, you'll get mighty hungry." But, guess what, Roxanne? Gram's just don't do THAT!! lol.......My adult sons demand an explanation!! UP++

    • myownlife profile image

      myownlife 5 years ago from london

      Great recipe and awesome ideas, yes this is much more question marked whether the child is having healthy food.

      @shimlahillstation, I agree with you.

      Cheers

    • shimlahillstation profile image

      shimlahillstation 5 years ago from India

      Its how they eat is what's important. If they eating it too quickly without properly chewing it. Then the healthy food is of no good.