Mom's Healthy Lunchbox Tips

It's Back to School week for many of us. Along with packing a bookbag with fresh school supplies and your completed contact-form package, you'll also have to contend with lunch. If you're packing rather than buying, MomSpeaker Trina O'Boyle offers tips on how to fill the lunchbox with healthy stuff the kids might actually eat.

Want more back-to-school lunch advice? Click here to read what a local chef/dad packs for his kids and here to find ways to get even the youngest school-goers snacking healthy when they get home.

Ugh . . . I seriously cannot believe school is here. Where has the summer gone? Being forced into back-to-school mode has also gotten me thinking about healthy lunches and snacks for my boys. We pack lunches almost daily, and I want to fill their lunchboxes with healthy foods that they will eat. There is nothing I hate more than wasting food. I can pack the healthiest lunches around, but if my kids are going to throw it in the trash, what is the point . . . right?

Now that my boys are older (ages 7 & 9) they firmly express their likes and dislikes with me — YAY! No, really — I like it because they can be a part of the decision-making when it comes to family dinners, healthy lunches and afternoon snacks. Buying organic can be expensive, and I don’t have any problem spending the extra cash because I know it’s healthier for them, but I don’t want it to go to waste. Here are a few tried-and-true back-to-school tips I’ve come up with throughout the years to insure that my boys eat healthy foods they like.

Give lunchbox choices

I meal-plan on Sunday for the week and then grocery-shop. I ask each of the boys what are some items they would like for lunch and snack. I give them ideas (to jog their memory) and they know to make healthy choices.

Have the kids help prepare lunch

I feel any child of school or preschool age can help in the kitchen. By making them involved in the planning and preparing process of any meal they will be apt to eat the meal . . . because you’ve made them in charge (within your boundaries).

Think outside the (lunch)box

Encourage your children to take leftovers to school; some of our favorites are pasta and soups. Lunch doesn’t need to be a sandwich every day. You can put some hummus/pita together, cheese/crackers or even French toast or pancakes. Applegate Farms and Annie’s now have these cool lunch and snack kits that you can pack when you are running late or if you are out of town and a babysitter or hubby is handling lunch. I know so many dads who make lunch every day for their kids, but not mine, so these would be perfect!

Trina O'Boyle is a Drexel Hill, PA mom of two boys. This post is adapted from her blog, O'Boy Organic.

Categories: MomSpeak