When it comes to your children’s school lunches, it just appeared so stress-free to buy multiple little bundles of food snacks and tossing in a juice box, along with pudding cups for dessert. Maybe it was not the healthiest, but it sure was fast and easy. While it is a good approach, an even better tactic would be to make a run at something conducive and oodles cheaper. Not only that, but there could be less food waste and more kid-friendly fun! Your child will not want to trade lunches with anyone ever again. Here are just a few tips to help give you some school lunch inspirations while on a budget.
Healthy School Lunch Ideas
Click Here to Get FunBites Today!Design your child’s lunch to be kid-friendly. Do not go all out on a full-fledged fancy meal that will cause their taste buds to cringe. Instead, opt in fun shapes and sizes of finger food sandwiches. FunBites Shaped Food Cutter Sets
cut foods into finger food shapes, such as squares, hearts and triangles. Kids seem to have more of an interest in their food when it is fun to eat. Create funny faces, flowers or other various things with the food to surprise your child with once they open their lunchboxes. Begin the creative process. Make your own sugar-free Jell-O cups. Basically, you use extra small Tupperware containers and make the Jell-O as directed. Add fruit pieces to make it a healthy dessert.
The Secret to Keeping Fruit from Browning
Does it bother you when the fruit browns so easily after dicing it up? Browning is a result of the exposure to oxygen. Do you want to know the secret on how to delay the fruit from browning? Of course you do! Two words: lemon juice. Simply brush it on any cut up apples, bananas and other cut-up fruits. It works wonders. This trick does make the fruit a little sour, but it does the job. You can also use the option to use a rubber band and placing the fruit back together, which can reduce browning as well.
Pack Foods that Energize
Buy different packages of produce and cut it up. Cut out the junk food, plain and simple. Pudding, candy and other sugary substances offer nothing good, except taste. There is no nutritional value in any of them. Instead, gather bulks of fruits and vegetables and put them in individual serving size bags and store them in your refrigerator for easy access. They cost less than 50 cents per serving, which is a little less than the price of a chocolate bar. Portion sizes are a big deal as well. Too much food in one setting can lead to sluggish, tired spells during the day. Find foods that energize them, while keeping them satisfied. Whole grain is a plus in that department, not only keeping you full longer, but it heart-healthy!
Every now and then, it takes slightly more effort when it comes to getting your kids to eat their fruits and vegetables. Dips are a must-have. Almond butter, Greek yogurt and hummus are a few favorites. Honey mustard is sugar-free and is also a great alternative.
Don’t Forget a Water Bottle
The next time you are creating a shopping list, be sure to add a water bottle to it. The perfect beverage for your child to drink is water. It’s simple, pure, and fairly cheap, while keeping you hydrated. The water bottle will allow a more eco-friendly method with less waste of plastic bottles. What is even better is that they’re spill proof and something your child will have for a long time. Water bottles are also great for packing soups, too! See Eco Vessel for Kid-Tough Stainless Steel Bottles like the one shown here.
Lunchboxes & Icepacks
Find lunchboxes and containers that are of good value, but won’t cost you an arm and a leg to purchase. You can snag kids lunch container sets for about $15 shipped at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They come in fun colors and include ice packs. Or if you want to customize your own ice pack, just put dish soap (any kind) in a tight, ziplock bag and freeze. Rubbing alcohol and water in a bag works well too.
Below is a list of healthy school lunch ideas for you to try out:
Lunch Box Inspiration #1
- Turkey and cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla
- 1 serving of baby carrots
- Sugar-free jello
Lunch Box Inspiration #2
- Ham and cheese on whole wheat bread
- Ants on a log (celery peanut butter raisins)
- Apple Juice
Lunch Box Inspiration #3
- Meat, Cheese and Veggie Kabobs
- Skim Milk
Lunch Box Inspiration #4
- Pasta Salad
- Sliced up cucumbers with hummus dip
- Trail mix
Lunch Box Inspiration #4
- Homemade Lunchable: Wheat Thins
sliced cheese and quartered bologna
- Broccoli with light ranch dip
- Skim Milk
With the school year approaching, one of the main things you have to consider is what kind of school lunch you will be sending your children with. With these simple solutions, you can have your youngsters eating healthy, portion-sized meals that will give them the focus and fullness they need for school. And don’t forget to leave the “I love you” note in their lunchbox.
For More healthy school lunch ideas and back to school organization:
Back to School with Healthy, Eco-Friendly Lunches that Make Kids Happy
How Do You Survive the Morning Rush? Quick Skillet Muffins and other On-the-Go Breakfast Ideas
Back to School Organization: Easy Recipes, Snack Ideas, FREE Printables!
Kristin Willis is the founder of the blog, Coupon Friendly and a stay at home wife and mom of 4 children from Springfield, Missouri. She’s been writing for 2 years and has a passion for it as well as theater arts and music. Kristin is also a regular contributor to the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog, a community that provides debt consolidation and money-saving advice.