*Download your FREE Healthy School Lunches Lunchbox Guide at the end of this article!*
Let me just start by saying-
It’s time for us moms to echo Planet Fitness’ motto and make the lunch room a judgment free zone.
The way I see it, each of us has a responsibility to do right by our children when it comes to feeding them healthy school lunches, but everyone’s “right” is going to look a little different.
This article is all about inspiring you to the best you can with what you have. Nothing more, nothing less.
Wasn’t Sarah’s most recent article entitled 7 Tips to Help You Create a Healthful Lunch fantastic?! If you haven’t read it yet, I encourage you to do that right now. It is important for us to
It is important for us to develop the proper mindset towards packing healthy school lunches before we dive into the specific “how-to’s” of brown bagging it.Moms! Let's echo Planet Fitness’ motto and make the lunchroom a judgment free zone too. Click To Tweet
Throughout our Whole Food Family Series, we have been teaching you how to transform the health of your family ONE whole food at a time.
Here are my five best tips for moms as they endeavor to create healthy school lunches for their growing children.
#1 – Healthful eating habits start at home.
If you want to teach your children healthy eating habits, don’t start with their school lunch. Instead, start at home and start small!
As you begin to expand their food horizons, make certain to train your children to bring home the portion of the lunch they didn’t eat. This provides valuable feedback for you and also a teaching opportunity (it also provides a no-brainer after school snack).
Brace yourself for the shocking truth….
My son will only eat peanut butter and jelly/honey sandwiches for lunch at school. I know…the horror!
I wish he would eat cold meat sandwiches, but he just doesn’t. They go in the garbage each time when I find them warm in his lunch box after school.
When I pack his lunch I make sure to include lots of nutritious snack options alongside his sweet sandwich. It’s not the perfect solution, but it’s the best I can muster.
Knowing what your kids will and will not eat once the lunch bell rings is a crucial step towards successful brown bag lunches.
#2 – Use small, portion controlled containers.
We have to keep in mind that kids don’t need the same portions as adults. They also don’t have much time to eat their lunch or snack.
I seem to have quite the chatterbox for a daughter, so she rarely eats everything I pack for her. On the other hand, my son will eat every last drop of food I pack for him (so long as he “likes” what I packed).
Our willingness to grow and change as mothers based on the feedback we get from our children is so crucial. I think that packing the proper portion size for their appetite and eating habits is a crucial step in this process.
#3 – Bake and stock your freezer on the weekend.
I try to have pre-made lunchbox and snack items in my freezer and fridge most weeks such as date and nut energy bites, granola bars, muffins, oatmeal energy bites, and sometimes granola mixes. It helps to take the guesswork out of a few of the items I pack for them each day.
It also speeds up the process for me and makes packing healthy school lunches each day a whole lot less stressful.
>Want a sneak peek inside my freezer? Check out this video blog.<<
#4- Send the same fruit or vegetable ALL week.
My kids do not get a different super exciting lunch each day of the week. They often eat the same lunch and snack options several times during the week.
If I happen to buy a container of blackberries at Sam’s Club, those little babies need to be eaten relatively quickly, so they will find them in their lunch for the week.
I love my little angels and variety is the spice of life, but the fact of the matter is we live as frugally as possible and wasting food physically hurts me.
Okay, onto our final Healthy School Lunches tip…
#5 – Prioritize whole foods over processed.
As you will see in our free guide, we encourage you to stuff as many unadulterated foods in your kids school lunch as possible. If you find we’ve set the bar too high, just make a decision about one improvement you can make TODAY and run with it.
This is all about progression NOT perfection!
If you have an off day (or week) and send your kids to school with a frosted sugar cookie, leftover popcorn, half an apple, and a sandwich it will be okay. I promise. My kids lived through it and yours will too.
Ok, now that you’ve read my five best tips (and learned that brown bagging it requires a delicate balance of practicality, reality, and your unique personality) it’s time for our totally free freebie….woo hoo!
Change is hard, but the best and most lasting change comes one small step at a time
For more lunchbox inspiration, follow us on Pinterest:
When you open up this document, just look for one small change you can make today. This is a marathon, mama…don’t allow yourself to become so overwhelmed that you just stay STUCK right where you are.
We’d love to hear how this information has impacted your life in a real and practical way, so please tell us in the comments:
What is ONE thing you learned in this article or the free download that you are ready to apply to your kids brown bag routine today?