By Alane Palmer, ND, CNC, and Annah Gillette
Back to school means back to a routine. Sending your little ones (and big ones) to school with whole, nutritious foods aids in sustaining them to get the most out of their day and education. Recruit some help from your little helpers. Involve them in the process of creating the shopping list, going grocery shopping and preparing their meals for the week.
Keep their brain focused and balanced! Think about creating a balanced back to school lunch to support their brain development and energy to play! Make it a reward to try something new each week.
How to balance a meal your kids will love. Lunches should include 2-3 oz of lean protein. Look at the palm of their hands to determine protein size. One serving of fruits and veggies, each serving should be the size of their fist. Don’t forget to include some healthy fats in the form of almond butter for apples or slices of avocado in a turkey roll up.
Here are five healthy back to school lunches
Pick up nitrate free deli turkey to start things out. Sneak a few veggies into your kid’s diet with these delicious wraps. And adding a little pesto—instead of mayo—means plenty of flavor! If your kids are gluten free there are plenty of gluten free wraps in the stores.
Ingredients: Whole wheat or Gluten Free Tortilla, romaine lettuce, sliced turkey breast, tomatoes, cucumbers, pesto
Guacamole Chicken Wraps
Kids will love these creamy, heart-healthy wraps. Lettuce leaves line the tortillas, keeping the wraps fresh in a lunchbox, and lime juice prevents the guacamole from getting discolored.
Create lunch friendly wraps from dinner leftovers: Pulled pork, roasted chicken, taco seasoned meat, the options are endless. Add in some veggies, and you have a hit. Be creative using gluten free tortilla or lettuce for a wrap!
Almond Butter with Banana Sandwich
Most of us loved peanut butter and banana sandwiches growing up. Let’s tweak it just a bit to make it healthier. Try almond butter instead of peanut butter and use Ezekiel bread or Gluten Free bread. Serve with a side of cut of veggies like carrots, cucumber, celery, and peppers.
Colorful Berry Salad
Every kid loves color! Serve them a nice green salad with their favorite veggies and throw in some blueberries and strawberries to keep it lively and colorful. Top it with sunflower seeds for beneficial fat and what ever meat you had for last nights dinner. Give them a small container of their favorite dressing (keep it MSG free )
Involve your kids in the healthy school lunch planning. Have them pack it up on their own with you watching of course. You can portion out the fruits and veggies ahead of time if need and have them grab them and put them together in their lunch container.
School lunches are an important part of your kids day! Pack them up healthy, fresh and delicious.
Many kids react to certain foods like nuts, dairy, egg or gluten. So while you are packing up their lunches think about how they are doing in school and at home. Could a food or a few foods be triggering difficulty or symptoms? If you are concerned we have a simple solution!
Order a Food Allergy / Food Intolerance combination test panel and get the answers you need for your child. Food that is ok for one child may not be ok for another child.
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Medical disclaimer: Our test kits and all tests cannot be used to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. All test results are to be used as educational materials and as a guide to help support your overall health and wellness. Always discuss health concerns with your medical doctor.