It seems like just yesterday we celebrated the end of the school year and now summer is almost over! From JK to University, kids are getting ready to head back to school and for parents that means packing the dreaded school lunch for the next 10 months.
If you're like us, you start out with great intentions. Bento boxes neatly sectioned with a wide variety of healthy choices, fun little notes to make your child's day better and a little self congratulations on being such a good mom (or dad).
Then it happens, the lunches come home barely eaten, fruits and vegetables are skipped in favour of granola bars, mini muffins and treats.
You get busy and slapping together a lunch meat sandwich is quick and easy but did you know that processed meats are classified as a class 1 carcinogen - right up there with cigarettes and asbestos!
Here are some simple hacks to help make lunches easier (especially after the first few days) and keep kids happy and well fed.
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Freeze dip in ice cube trays - kids love to dunk, so instead of giving them a processed snack with its dubious health claims (and cheese from a shelf, what’s that all about?) offer them a healthy homemade dip instead. You can freeze homemade dip in ice cube trays and then just click out one or two cubes into a small container in the morning, with some carrot sticks or brown rice crackers in another container for dipping. The dip will be defrosted in time for snack/lunch.
If your kids aren't into sandwiches, try skewers. (Buzzfeed)
Browned apple slices are a big turn off for most kids...for any kind of apple, try this hack: Pre-slice it, then put the slices back together with rubber band so they don’t have any exposed flesh, and therefore don't brown. (Food Network)
If you have a pantry closet or a snack drawer, put all non-refrigerated lunchbox add-on items in small bins and let the kids pick one from each bin to round out their meal. For instance, you might pack up a sandwich, and then the kids can pick one item from the beverage bin, one item from the healthy snack bin, and one item from the treat bin. No morning arguments, and you can restock the bins as needed. (Food Network)
Looking for some tips to keep your lunches "eco-friendly" try these hacks:
Re-use our bottles - they are BPA free which means they can be washed an reused as water bottles.
Use a sponge as an ice pack. Ice packs are expensive and, apparently, quite easily "lost." A sponge will do the trick for a fraction of the cost: Just soak, freeze overnight and place in a resealable plastic bag. (The Loop)
Do you have any great tips or hacks for preparing healthy school lunches? Share in the comments below.