Well the first week is done and no matter what your kids ate this week you made it through! GOOD JOB! …but we don’t want to just make it through all year.
Last year I didn’t plan very well and found that each morning my first thoughts were, “crap what do I have in the kitchen to put in the lunches?” …secondary thought was, “will my kids eat it?” …third, “is it healthy?”
You might be thinking, oh c’mon Jenny of course it’s healthy you post lots of healthy foods… but my kids are still kids and my girl is trying to survive on chocolate I’m pretty sure and my son can’t believe that chips aren’t a food group! lol They have their preferences and unlike me, they like variety. (I literally eat the same thing for breakfast every day and I LOVE it! …sometimes on the weekends I’ll feel the pressure to eat the same breakfast as my family… but this post isn’t about my crazy habits)
So this year I have vowed to procrastinate less, involve the kids more and be prepared for the inevitability of the MON-FRI lunches.
I have a PDF here for you to check out… school lunches (1) This gives you a visual and some suggestions on how to pack your kids a healthy lunch. This can also be made into an activity for the kids to participate in. (pictures below)
As you can see on the PDF I have included some non-vegan items. I really wanted to help as many families as possible make lunches WHOLE FOOD BASED… in an ideal world we would all be feeding and eating WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED but just eating whole food would be a great start!
This is what our first 3 school lunches looked like. The potato salad we had for dinner the night before and I just planned to make extra to have enough for their lunch. Hubby took it too cause lunch isn’t just for kids 😉 The other lunches I made the morning of… We have our whole grains (granola, whole grain bread), fruit (blueberries, oranges, bananas), vegetables (carrots, peas, potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes), healthy fats (coconut whip, seeds, avocado) and protein – people there is protein in almost everything! (hummus, carrots, chis seeds, coconut, banana, etc)
The paper chart featured here isn’t part of this week’s lunch prep.. it’s actually the beginning of next week. I let both kids make 2 charts like this. This gives me 4 lunch ideas. Some items will be repeated because, for example both kids like oranges, but that’s great! It gives me a foundation and a grocery list to make our lunches from. Just having these ingredients in mind will create opportunities for you to keep lunches creative and easy. Sooooo many things can be wrapped or sandwiched in whole wheat or flax wraps and healthy seeded breads. Just because your kid get a wrap every day next week, doesn’t mean they aren’t getting variety. Pasta salad is such a great go-to lunch because you eat it cold, so no “heating up” worries and both fruits and veggies can be chopped and added in. Seeds are a great way to get those healthy fats in without breaking the “no nuts” policy and once again, there is seriously protein everywhere so it’s not even something that needs to be on your radar.
These meals are of course plant-based, because that is how our family eats. REAL TALK if you do eat meat or cheese or eggs, check out my post on Hot dogs, lunch meats and cancer… so you can make an informed healthy choice for your little one. Also, you can just make them some chicken or fish or scrambled eggs for supper. Once a day for animals fats is ENOUGH 🙂