Importance of a Healthy Lunch
Children require a healthy meal at noon to stay energized. While public and private schools provide hot meals in a cafeteria, the foods are often loaded with fat and sodium. In addition, school meal prices are steadily increasing placing a financial burden on parents. During the summer months and breaks, children often attend day care or camping facilities that do not provide meal services.
Finding a Way to Carry a Meal
This means parents must find a way to pack a midday meal for children. First, parents need a meal container such as sturdy lunch bags for kids that are available in different sizes with bright colors, characters or designs. These items are inexpensive, disposable and easy to carry while being easily available at online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Foods Children Enjoy
Ask children about favorite foods to pack for a midday meal. Provide variety by making small changes to encourage a child to eat different foods. For instance, if a child always wants a tuna salad sandwich on white bread, then alternate with chicken salad on whole wheat bread. Add extra ingredients to a sandwich such as pickle relish, tomato slices or lettuce leaves to provide essential nutrients.
Keeping Meals Cold
Parents want to ensure that a child does not get any illnesses from contaminated meals. Purchase freezable ice packs to keep meat and dressings from spoiling before lunchtime. Wrap sandwiches carefully in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to keep insects away from the food.
Buy Plastic Containers
Plastic containers of all sizes are easy to find at low prices. Children will love having salads or leftovers for a midday meal instead of a steady diet of sandwiches. On weekends, parents can make extra food to freeze in a container for a child’s lunch. Children can easily eat leftovers such as cold chicken with a serving of vegetables on the side.
Make Food Easy to Eat
Children enjoy having bite-size food during a midday meal. Parents can make foods faster to eat by creating curlicues from vegetables such as cucumbers or carrots. Pour delicious dressings made from wholesome ingredients into small containers for easy noontime dipping. Encourage a child to eat fruit by slicing apples or pears into small sections that are easier to chew. Place fruit and vegetable treats in a small ziplock bag near an ice pack to stay crisp and cool.