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How to pack a healthy lunch for your family

September 3, 2021

Navigating lunch can be so overwhelming with kids. Let’s chat about how to pack a healthy lunch for your kids. I find there is a lot of pressure on sending a healthy lunch and also on how much your child chooses to eat. If your child has 3 meals and 1 snack per day, their 5 school lunches represent just 13% of their eating opportunities for the week… Let that sink in. Now that we have that little reframe taken care of, let’s take stock of a few logistics.

Lunch Packing Logistics

When you’re planning lunches there are lots of things to consider, including:

  • How long between packing lunch or removing from the fridge and eating?
  • Can your kid open their food containers?
  • Do they have access to refrigeration or a microwave?
  • How does your kid do with different food textures?
  • How much time do they have for their meal?
  • What foods does your kid really enjoy?
  • What is easiest for you to prepare?

What to include

Now that you’ve taken stock of your logistics, we can talk about a framework or what nutrition factors to consider when you’re packing a lunch. Packing a healthy lunch is really about supporting satiety (fullness or satisfaction) and blood sugar control. Key nutrients for satiety and blood sugar control are protein, fat and fiber. When meals have a combination of protein, fiber and healthy fats it slows down the time food takes to go through the intestines and avoids blood sugar spikes. Foods that are higher in each of the larger nutrients (protein, fat, carbohydrates) also contribute a different variety of vitamins and minerals, so it’s helping to ensure our family is getting a great balance of nutrients.

6 Easy Lunch Ideas (that don’t include deli meat)

how to pack a healthy lunch
  • bagel thin with cream cheese, hard boiled eggs, cucumber, strawberries
  • whole wheat crackers, nut butter, apple slices, snap peas
  • homemade bean dip, quesadilla, blackberries, carrots
  • whole wheat crackers, cottage¬†cheese, tomatoes, avocado, grapes
  • chicken salad sandwich using avocado and yogurt mix, lettuce,¬†bread, cucumbers and apple slices
  • lettuce wraps with cooked ground chicken/turkey, pears

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