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Lunchbox 101


How to Pack Healthy Lunches for Your Little Ones


Lunch is a very important meal for growing children. While school is in session, not only will lunch provide them with the nutrients and calories they need for proper growth, but it will also provide them with the energy they need to remain focused and learn. Studies have proven that children who are hungry end up being distracted, lethargic, and even irritable in the classroom. As a mom, you want nothing more than to see your child succeed. Help them along that path by packing them a healthy lunch that will keep them well-nourished and clear headed. Here are some easy tips on how to pack your back to school super star a healthy lunch, with a little help for our friends at Centrepoint along the way.


Take Your Child to the Grocery with You

Alright, so we all know that just because you pack something, doesn't mean that your child is actually going to eat it. You know the times when your little one brings home their lunch bag, and you go to wash it, and about half of what you packed tumbles out? Yup, those days happen. Then there's the trading that goes on in the cafeteria. But, one way to help ensure that your child is actually eating what you pack them is to take them to buy items with you. Stroll with them through the fruits and veggies section and let them pick out what they like best.  By letting them in on the decision-making process, they'll feel like they're helping and will be more excited about their lunch options. The more fruits and veggies in their diet, the better.


Pretty Packaging and Inclusive Meals


Yes, it may seem strange but kids like things better when they come in cool packages. This includes lunch bags and boxes. Centrepoint is a fantastic place to pick up some really fun lunchtime must haves that will make your child even more excited to chow down on something healthy. For boys we love this space and sport inspired lunch bag with a side pocket.


For girls, how lovely is this sweet printed lunch bag with a strap?


For a healthy lunch, it's important to make sure all food groups are represented in your child's diet. That means fruits and veggies, lean meats or proteins, dairy like cheese or yogurt, and grains. To make sure you cover all the bases, without leaving a mess or having to use too many of those disposable plastic baggies, we love these washable, reusable containers from Centrepoint.


Avoid the Processed Snacks


Now moms, this is totally a judge free zone. We have all been there, exhausted and frazzled, trying to pack a lunch for school the next day while our brain is refusing to process anything. Somehow, figuring out what nutritious things to put in a lunchbox seems like a herculean effort. Eventually, you open the cupboards trying to find one last thing or two to round out your kids’ lunch and throw something pre-packaged in there so you can collapse into bed. The problem is, these snacks are typically full of sugar and salt. Instead, try to go with something a little healthier like a yogurt cup or air popped popcorn. Processed snacks are still fine for a treat, every now and again, but try to limit their use during the week.


Keep Them Hydrated


Did you know that your school aged children should be taking in between 6 and 8 cups of water a day? That's the minimum, we're not even talking about those extra hot days, or the days your little one will be engaging in a lot of physical activity. Water is, of course, the healthiest option for children as it does without the sugars found in juices and soda. If your child is complaining about the bland taste of water, consider dropping a few pieces of frozen fruit into the bottle. To encourage them to drink, check out Centrepoint's fabulous selection of kid pleasing water bottles. There are so many designs and styles to choose from, your little is sure to find one they are excited about. Many even feature built in straws to minimize spillage.



Make Healthy Food Fun

Sometimes part of being a mom is being well versed in the art of distraction. Presenting food in a fun way can be enough to change your child's attitude about foods you are trying to get them to eat more of. Some examples of how to do this is to use child-friendly skewers to create fun fruit kebabs. You could also utilize cookie cutters to cut fun shapes into things like cheese, melons, meat, sandwiches, and pita. You can also try to create a school lunch that revolves around a theme like a movie or a show your child enjoys. Get creative and your child just might expand their own culinary horizons.