Every day in elementary school, I ate a hot lunch. My personal favorite was the pasta bake, which consisted of elbow macaroni, tomato sauce, and cheese. It was a mediocre supper, but it was still tasty. When I was in high school, I started to pay more attention to what I ate and how it affected my health.
Many of you are probably thinking about school lunch now that classes have resumed for families around the country. Here are some tips for parents who send lunch to school to keep their kids well-fed throughout the day. It might be challenging to prepare nutritious and tasty plant-based school lunches week after week, so keep these five tips in mind.
It should go without saying that what children eat for lunch is as important as anything else. Lunch should provide them enough energy to last them through the remainder of the day and into the evening. Vegetables, fruit, grains (ideally whole wheat) should be included in a nutritious and delicious meal. You may use a variety of foods from each of these categories to create a new and exciting lunch every day.
What’s the use of providing healthy food to children if they refuse to eat it? If your children don’t eat raw veggies or meats, try roasting them instead (the sweetness comes when they’re roasted), adding herbs and spices to the grains, and serving flavored yogurt or plant milk if they don’t like plain. Toss in an occasional sweet treat without feeling guilty; your children will learn that all foods can be part of a balanced diet if taken in moderation.
Because most lunch hours are only a few minutes long, a five-course meal is out of the question. Make things easier on yourself by buying pre-packaged items like yogurt, applesauce, hummus, and string cheese in individual containers. Additionally, you may make resealable baggies containing foods like tiny carrots, cucumber slices, and pepper sticks that can be quickly tossed into the child’s lunchbox.
From the moment students board the bus in the morning until they get to the cafeteria, hot food must stay hot and cold food must remain cold. Keep cold food in the refrigerator until the last minute before sending the kids out the door for lunch. To keep it chilled, either freeze a water bottle overnight and use it in place of an ice pack in your cooler bag. Use a thermos prepared with boiling water for hot meals. Before packing the meal in the thermos, make sure it’s been heated through. Then, keep the lid on the thermos until lunch.
Think about how your packed lunch will hold up until noon, as well as food safety when making your choice of a packed lunch. Pack all the parts of a sandwich separately and let the kids put it together for lunch. Sandwiches may be substituted with lunch kebabs; thread your sandwich fillings onto skewers and serve with a dipping sauce. Bento box lunch boxes, which are pre-divided into pieces and make it simple to include different food categories, are another popular option. Thanks for reading this far. Think about your kid’s tests and health to prepare a lunch box for them.