As the back-to-school season is here again, we have to start incorporating our children’s routines into ours again. That means school drop-offs, pick-ups, and packing lunches! It can sometimes be difficult to plan meals that your children will eat and actually enjoy, and preparing them every night or morning can be time-consuming. Here are some useful tips on how to save some time and make packing lunches easier!
Use a rubber band to keep your apples from browning.
If your child’s lunch includes an apple (to keep the doctor away, of course!), be sure to slice it and then use a rubber band to put it back together and keep it in place. Keeping the apple intact after it’s cut will prevent it from browning throughout the day and maintain its freshness so that your child can enjoy it at lunchtime. This trick also works with other fresh fruits that tend to oxidize quickly!
Sprinkle seasoning onto your produce to give it extra flavor.
A great way to encourage your kids to get their daily fruit and vegetable intake is to season them! Often, children will leave the fruit and veggies in their lunch for last or they won’t get to them at all. Adding seasoning that pairs well with your produce gives it a boost of flavor and makes it less mundane. Try sprinkling cinnamon on apple slices, Tajin on pineapple chunks, Everything-but-the-Bagel seasoning on cucumber slices, or ranch seasoning on baby carrots.
Pre-open packaged snacks.
If you’re adding any sort of packaged snack to your child’s lunchbox, chances are, they may have trouble getting it open – especially the little ones. To make their lives easier and optimize their lunch time so they have enough time to eat, consider opening them beforehand. For example, tear open a small portion of the granola bar packaging before placing it in their lunch box. This tip also works with bags of crackers, crisps or puffs.
Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.
Using cookie cutters to cut cute shapes out of their food is a great way to make your kid’s lunch fun and more appealing. Something as simple as cutting your sandwiches into a circle or making stars out of your fruits and veggies will encourage your child to eat them. Depending on the season or holiday approaching, you can even switch up the shapes!
Get your children to help you in the kitchen.
Not only does packing their lunch allow them to make their own selections of foods they prefer, but it also allows them to appreciate the work that goes into making their lunch and that makes them more likely to eat and enjoy it. It also gives them something to be proud of every day at school when they know their hard work went into creating those meals.
Days tend to get busier when school is in session and you find yourself with less time. These tips for packing lunches can come in handy to save you time. All while making the process more enjoyable for you and your children.
To your Balanced Health,
The Balanced Company