Keeping kids occupied during winter break can be a challenge, but this year, get them involved in meal prep. Not only is it a hands-on activity that can help them learn about different food groups and nutrition, but it can even help them eat their meals if they tend to be picky eaters. Below are some tips and recipe ideas for 5 easy lunches kids can make on their own.
Get kids involved. Kids are more likely to eat their lunches when you involve them in the planning, grocery shopping, and preparation.
Give them freedom to choose. Ask kids to write a list of their favorite foods. When grocery shopping, have them pick different fruits and veggies.
Make it fun. Use cookie cutters to create fun shaped sandwiches. Place fruit chunks on a skewer. Cut a wrap into bite size pieces.
Mix and match. To make sure your child’s lunch offers both variety and health, have them sort their favorite foods into food groups using the 1-2-3 system to provide them the energy and nutrition they need.
1: Choose a lean protein and or dairy item
2: Add whole wheat or whole grains
3: Add colorful fruits and or vegetables
Lunch #1 – Apple Peanut Butter Sandwich
- Sugar Snap Peas
- True Goodness® by Meijer™ Oatmeal Animal Cookies
- Horizon Organic lowfat milk
Apple Peanut Butter Sandwich
- 1 locally grown apple cored, sliced into rings
- 2 tbsp.tablespoon True Goodness® by Meijer™ Creamy Peanut Butter*
- 1 tbsp.tablespoon True Goodness® by Meijer™ Blueberry Flax Granola
- 1 tbsp.tablespoon True Goodness® by Meijer™ Dried Cranberries
- Use apple slices as bread. Spread peanut butter on each apple slice. Sprinkle one slice with granola and cranberries. Top with other apple slice to form sandwich.
*Note: If allergic to peanut butter, try sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or soy butter.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 319 calories, 16g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 72mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 8g protein
Lunch #2 – Fun Bento Fun-Due
- Apple slices and strawberries with lowfat vanilla Greek yogurt for dipping
- Mini sweet peppers, broccoli florets with lowfat Greek Ranch dressing for dipping
- Deli turkey slices
- Lowfat Colby Jack cheese slices
- True Goodness® by Meijer™ Kale & Spinach Multi-grain Chips
Lunch #3 – Turkey Veggie Sushi
- Clementine Orange
Turkey Veggie Sushi
- 1 spinach tortilla
- 2 tablespoons yogurt ranch dressing
- 3 slices lowfat deli turkey breast
- ½ cup cooked brown rice
- ¼ cup grated/matchstick carrots
- 2 slices seedless cucumber, peeled, cut into thin strips
- ¼ cup Romaine lettuce, cut into thin strips
- 1 slice tomato, cut into thin strips
- 1 slice lowfat cheddar cheese, cut into thin strips
- Heat tortilla in microwave on High 15 seconds.
- Coat tortilla with dressing. Layer turkey slices on top. Add rice onto ½ of turkey; press down to flatten. Layer carrots, cucumber, salad, tomato and cheese in a line on top.
- Roll tortilla around rice and veggies; cut into 2-inch pieces.
Lunch #4 – Lunchbox Taco Salad
- Low-fat yogurt tube
Lunchbox Taco Salad
- 1 cup True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Canned Low Sodium Black Beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 cup True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Canned Organic Sweet Whole Kernel Corn, rinsed, drained
- 1 large tomato, diced
- ½ cup shredded Meijer 2% Milk Mexican Cheese Blend
- ½ cup True Goodness™ by Meijer™ Salsa
- ½ avocado, diced
- Multigrain tortilla scoops
- In a bowl, mix black beans, corn, tomato, cheese, and salsa. Gently stir in avocado. Serve in tortilla scoops.
Nutrition Information (per 1 cup serving): 211 calories, 8g fat, 7mg cholesterol, 501mg sodium, 26g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 9g protein
Serve with Mango cubes and low fat yogurt tube.
Lunch #5 – Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
- Hard-boiled Egg
Broccoli Cheddar Cornbread Muffins
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ cup yellow cornmeal
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup 1% milk
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup finely chopped streamed broccoli
- ¾ cups shredded lowfat cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Mix flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt together in large bowl. Whisk in eggs, milk and melted butter. Fold in broccoli and cheese.
- Spoon into prepared muffin cups, filling ¾ full. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Let cool 1 minute, then remove from pan to cool completely.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 181 calories, 6g fat, 75mg sodium, 45mg cholesterol, 26g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 6g protein
Serve with hard-boiled egg, lowfat cheese cubes, and mini sweet peppers.