Healthy Kid's Food: Pack A Healthy School Lunch

Learn how to pack healthy yet exciting school lunches that no kid could ever resist! Get started using these easy tips.

The foods your kids are eating for lunch at school are important for several reasons.

For one thing unhealthy school lunches that are high in fat, calories, and sugar have little nutritive value. When your kids are at school they need healthy "brain" foods to keep them going. Not only do certain foods help the brain function better, but unhealthy foods can take away from a child's optimal brain performance. For example high-sugar foods , after an initial energy spike, send kids crashing down to low energy levels leaving them tired and mentally or physically unable to keep up in class.

Another reason to pay attention to what your kids eat for lunch is that unhealthy eating habits during lunch time are a big link in the chain that leads to obesity, and subsequently diabetes and other increasingly common children's health disorders and diseases.

Perhaps many of you parents out there already know this. Sometimes the problem is not that parents aren't paying enough attention to their kids' diets, it's that they just can't get their kids interested in fruits instead of French fries. If this is the case, parents, it's time to get creative. Kids love to eat novel foods, candies that come in cool containers, foods that come in interesting colors (such as green catsup), drinks with fruity flavors instead of boring water, and stuff that comes in cool shapes and sizes. Start presenting sandwiches and fruit juices in a whole new way and your kids will start looking at them in a whole new way; it's that simple. Here are some awesome examples of exciting lunchbox ideas to help get you started.

That tired old PB&J looks pretty boring to your kids when they see it day after day. And it's on wheat bread? Forget it! Sound familiar? Try making the sandwich a side dish instead of the main dish. Use 1 or 2 slices of wheat bread and spread on the peanut butter and jelly. If you used 1 slice fold it over now. Then use a cookie cutter to cut the sandwich into shapes. Use stars, animals, or around holidays, pumpkins and Christmas trees and so on. Who could resist such a novel sandwich?

Don't pack that lunchbox with high a sugar soft drink or juice box! Instead, on the evening before, blend together a delicious fruit smoothie using unsweetened apple juice, strawberries, bananas, or whatever fruits your child likes. Pour into a thermos, refrigerate and pack in the morning to give your kid a fun surprise.

If you kids won't eat their carrot sticks or fruit wedges plain, pack a delicious dip in a small airtight container to go with the produce. Use ranch dressing for the veggies and low fat vanilla yogurt for fruit dip. They'll love being able to dunk the foods so much, they'll hardly notice they are eating fruit.

Kids like colorful foods, and what food is more naturally vivid than fresh produce? Choose bright, beautiful fruits such as strawberries, green grapes and watermelon. Instead of tossing them into a cup, try skewering them onto stick along with something you know they will eat- cheese! They kabobs will look so colorful that your kids are guaranteed to ask for them again.

To help you develop more school-lunch ideas that your kids won't trade away at the lunch table, ask the experts to help you - your kids! Who knows what they'll eat better than they do?

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