It’s hard enough to figure out what you want for lunch and how to eat healthy, never mind your kids.
You don’t judge the fast food family (and sometimes secretly wish you’d give into that choice) because it seems so easy, crowd pleasing and the no-dishes part has more appeal than anything you could dream up.
So there you stand, in your own kitchen, with an evil, empty lunch box staring at you. You need to fill it with healthy foods, and only you can do it.
But I can help.
Below, I’ve taken some old school but not so healthy lunch box ideas and transformed them with a modern delicious, nutritious, healthy foods twist that will have your kiddos finally smiling around the table and you no longer glaring at that lunchbox.
3 Quick and Healthy Lunch Box Ideas
PB&J: old school processed pb and sugary jelly smushed between white bread is kinda a nutrition nightmare. However, it can be transformed into a nutrition powerhouse before you can say JIFfy.
- Upgrade your nut butter (think almond butter, boutique nut butters, like Nutzzo or simply natural pb) and spread the “P” on whole grain bread, Ezekial bread, or high fiber crackers.
- While you’re at it, swap your sugar-filled jelly with freshly sliced strawberries (or you can have one of your nuggets mash ‘em for you), an all fruit spread or even dehydrated fruit for a little crunch. This modern way pulls out a bunch of the sugar and takes the nutrition up a notch with vitamin C and fiber.
Rice & Beans: it’s challenging to improve on rice and beans, but even the most devoted legume and whole grain lover has to admit that cooking time is a factor in making this perfect pair. And, white rice and your same ole beans deserve to be taken to a new level.
- If your modern self doesn’t have hours to labor over those beans, whip up some quinoa in the 20 minutes it takes to help your daughter decide on her outfit du jour and pair it with faster cooking legumes, like lentils or peas for a delicious balance of fiber rich, nutrient dense flavor.
- Top with avocado, salsa, sriracha (if you have a daring kid!) or sour cream to turn it into a meal. While this new way is a time saver, it also offers all of the fiber, B vitamins and nutritional benefits of the classic version, so you’re not losing a thing by taking the shortcut here.
Milk & Cookies: while nothing could possibly replace this duo, nutritional improvements are easy with no loss of flavor and taste. Small swaps and substitutions go a long way. At the very least, make these bad boys homemade versus store bought. That alone is an upgrade.
- Halve the sugar in your cookies, spoon in some flax meal and replace all purpose flour with almond flour. Upgrade your milk by making it organic or switching to unsweetened almond.
- To take it a step further, see if you can get your kids on board with a sweet and healthy date nut bar and matcha latte, a combo full of fiber and antioxidants.
And how about some after school healthy snacks?