Struggling to think of nut free, healthy ideas for your little one’s lunch box?
Healthy Mummy Community member Melanie Arnold-Stem has been experimenting with her little one’s lunch box and has come up with some AWESOME ideas on how to make super healthy and interesting snacks.
Here are Melanie’s top 10 tips for packing a healthy lunch box.
10 tips for packing a healthy lunch box for your little one
1. Keep it simple
Using a bento style lunch box let’s you keep track of portioning. What’s more, it is a great way for your children to visually see what’s for lunch and get excited.
I also find these compartments are super easy to wash up. #Winning!
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
It only takes me about 15-20 minutes to make all lunches for the week, and that includes keeping it fun! I prep veggie sticks, fresh fruits, wraps, and snacks from The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge recipe hub.
Meatballs and quesadillas from the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge are a big hit with my family, and so easy to make. Whilst the oven is on and cooking, I’m cutting up everything else.
While the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge is a mum-focussed health and weight loss program, the accompanying meal plans are designed to be both breastfeeding and family friendly. With over 4,500 recipes to access you will never be stuck for lunch box ideas again (for both the kids, the partner and yourself)! For any mums interested, learn more about The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
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.
I give my daughter five healthy options, and one treat (usually popcorn or crackers), and nine times out of 10, that’s what comes home anyway!
5. Make it fun!
I use cookie cutters to cut up fruit or sandwiches, or make a themed lunch box. It takes no extra time than normal. This helps get them excited about healthy foods.
6. Pack the night before
If you’re in a rush in the mornings, like most mums are, 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, a treat, and voila! Couldn’t be easier.
8. Keep the costs down
By using the same ingredients or recipes that are already on your meal plan (like the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge Meal Plan), it keeps costs down and gets the whole family involved in maybe trying new foods, or even in the kitchen.
I try and buy similar ingredients to make multiple recipes from the same things.
For example, chicken mince, carrot, onion, celery, zucchini and spinach leaves could make San Choy Bow, Hidden Veg Nuggets, Chicken Sausage Rolls, Chicken Patties, or even be used for Greek Chicken Burgers.
9. Ask your school or kindy for advice
Chances are that your kindy, daycare, or school already talk about healthy choices, but see if you are able to find extra inspiration in the classroom or if they have any favourites they’d like to share.
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 sooooo many options on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and The Healthy Mummy Healthy Kids Lunch Box book, which contains a heap of healthy, nutritious recipes for little ones, and that are cheaper to make.
The Healthy Mummy Kids Lunch Box Cookbook contains over 130 ideas and recipes from snacks, meals, smoothies and afternoon treats. With this cookbook you are bound to nail school lunch box preps before you know it!