Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but lunch is a close second. The contents of your child's lunchbox will ensure a steady stream of nutrients flowing to the brain, keep blood sugar levels on keel, and instill lifelong healthy-eating habits.
The rules of thumb: aim for a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates, and keep sugar, salt, and saturated fat to a minimum. Go for visual appeal with a variety of colors, shapes, and textures.
Protein packs punch
Sandwiches fuse the all-important trio of protein, carbohydrate, and fats.
Or, go a la carte with yogurt, canned salmon, hardboiled eggs, soy jerky, cheese slices or string cheese, baked tofu cubes, bean and cheese mini-burritos, soy beans (edamame), mixed nuts, and energy bars.
Complex carbs--Don't leave home without them
Don't shy away from complex carbohydrates. Kids' rapidly growing brains and bodies need the fuel.
Be inventive. Play with your food. Your kids will catch on that eating can be fun.
Dust off your cookie cutters and make fun shapes in slices of cheese, bread, or apple.
Spice it up! Try a dash of cinnamon in applesauce, or lemon pepper on a turkey sandwich.
Introduce new flavors. Nori, a type of seaweed, makes a salty, crunchy snack. Sweet potato or taro chips can be an exotic, yet healthful, change as well.
Think themes. Combine a bean and cheese mini-burrito, tortilla chips, and a mini-container of salsa. For the adventuresome palate, try a few pieces of sushi (the cooked variety), soybeans, and rice crackers.