If your family falls into the 40% of U.S. children who bring their lunch to school, you might find yourself standing in the kitchen on any given morning wondering, “What am I going to make for my kid’s lunch today?”
You want it to be healthy… and you want it to be quick! While most kids have their “go-to’s”, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut! Offering different types of food helps our children get the nutrients they need from each of the five food groups, as well as encourages them to try new foods!
It may seem daunting, but it isn’t rocket science, Mama. Despite what Instagram and Pinterest are telling you, you don’t have to spend an hour in the kitchen creating elaborate scenes or chopping fruit into cute shapes (but if that’s your jam, we LOVE to see it! Get it, girl). The goal is to get as many of the 5 food groups as possible into that lunchbox as often as you can. That means:
- Fruits: choose what your child enjoys; the more color the better
- Vegetables: same as fruits, choose what your child will eat
- Protein: this can be anything from lean meat, beans, nuts, tofu, fish, etc.
- Grains: aim for whole grains, like whole wheat bread, crackers, pasta, rice, or popcorn
- Dairy: milk (cows milk or an alternative), yogurt, and cheese are all great options