Something I continuously work at is packing nutritious lunches for my kids with enough variety that they don’t get bored. If this is something you are working on too, here are a few tips that really help me and a fun recipe too!
Lunch Packing Tips
1) Try to include foods in your child’s lunch that meet energy and growth needs, and offer immunity boosting nutrients.
2) Offer fruits and vegetables in an “easy to eat” way to increase interest. If your child tends to eat small portions, include a dip for added nutrient and caloric density. For example, baby carrots with hummus, grape tomatoes with guacamole, apples with Sunbutter, and berries with Greek yogurt.
3) Allow your child to be involved in making their lunches. Ask them if they would like carrots or peppers, pita with hummus or cheese on a wrap. Ask them to help put the grapes or raisins into their lunchbox. The more involved they are, the more invested they feel, and the more likely they are to eat their lunch.
4) Choose a lunch box that allows your child to see the whole lunch at once rather than needing to open several small containers.
5) Remember that the goal is to offer nourishment to children and not a gourmet meal. So it is 100% okay to offer a “snack lunch” of whole grain crackers or homemade muffins, shredded cheese, baby carrots, hummus, sunflowers seeds, grapes and yogurt or a homemade smoothie. And sometimes these “easier” lunches are the ones that are loved most!
And if these “snack lunches” sound like something your little ones would enjoy, here is a delicious recipe for Black Bean Bites that would be perfect to include. They are fun to eat and packed with nutrients that support a healthy, growing body and brain!
Black Bean Bites
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup shredded carrots
398 mL can of No Added Salt black beans, drained and rinsed
3 scoops Healthy Height protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
8 pitted dates
1 cup milk (regular or plant-based)
2 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1. Blend all ingredients, except for the flour, in a food processor on low for 3-5 minutes and then high until full blended together.
2. Stir flour into the batter until it is a uniform texture.
3. Place batter in small “coin size” drops on a greases baking stone or cookie sheet.
3. Bake at 400 F for about 10-12 minutes, or until cooked through.