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Struggling to think of nut free, healthy ideas for your little one’s lunch box? Here are some great ideas to get variety, nutrition and inspiration into your child’s lunchbox.
1. Keep it simple
Using a bento style lunch box allows you to offer a huge variety of food, keep track of portioning, get out of the sandwich-for-lunch rut, and it’s a great way for your children to visually see what’s for lunch and get excited.
2. Use bright colours
Opt for lots of colours! We all know that different colour foods contain different nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Not to mention, have different textures and tastes. By incorporating different coloured food into your kids lunch box you can be reassured they are getting their daily dose of vitamins (and may be excited to try and taste new things).
3. Prep your food
I can be stressful with the morning rush and it might have you reaching for quick packaged food rather than healthier options. Making it a habit to spend 15-20 minutes prepping for lunches for the week, i.e. chopping veggie sticks, fresh fruits, making wraps and healthy snacks like bliss balls or kale chips.
4. Get your kids involved
When it comes to preparing a lunch box the kids will actually like (and eat), ASK them what they like, what they don’t like, and give them options and also part of the lunchbox packing process, i.e. adding popcorn, chopping up a fruit salad. When they are involved, they are more connected to their food and nutrition.
5. Make it fun!
Use cookie cutters to cut up fruit or sandwiches, or make a themed lunch box. It takes no extra time than normal and it can help get them excited about healthy foods.
6. Pack the night before
If you’re in a rush in the mornings, pack lunches the night before when you’re organising your dinner. Because you’ve already prepped it, takes only two minutes and you’re done.
7. Utilise your leftovers
This is another little time saver hack which I’m sure many of you have used before, but make an extra half serve for the lunch box, add some fruit and veg, and voila! Couldn’t be easier.
8. Plan ahead
Sometimes it’s as simple as writing out a menu plan for the week adding a batch of lunchbox items to bake or cook to have on hand, or add to the freezer when in a rush. Things like healthy muffins, hidden veggie nuggets, homemade sushi, boiled eggs, veggie sausage rolls — these things can be made in a big batch over the weekend, and it’s also a great way to trying new foods, and add variety to your child’s diet.
9. Food inspiration
Asking mum friends what they pack for lunches, going on pinterest for recipes ideas, or going through healthy cookbooks can be a great way to get inspired for new things to include in your child’s lunchbox. This also gets you out of meal and cooking ruts and can keep things inspiring.
10. Keep the packaged stuff to a minimum
You can still get some good choices of products in packages (i.e. popcorn, brown rice crackers), but there are so many other homemade options of healthy, nutritious recipes for little ones, that are cheaper to make and you know what is in them.