Ideas for Healthy Lunches Your Kids Might Actually Eat

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It’s tempting to fill your child’s lunch box with prepackaged, convenient foods. After all, your child likes the taste well enough to eat what comes in a wrapper, cup, or colorful box. But with just a bit more ingenuity, you can pack a kid's lunch that you know is healthy and your kids think is fun to eat.

  • Be a cut up. If you’re trying to coax your younger kids into eating healthier sandwiches like low-fat tuna or chicken salad, try cutting the sandwich bread into the shape of a fish or chicken. Kids are more likely to eat foods that look fun. A cookie cutter will easily do the trick.

  • Put plain, white bread out to pasture. Roll up chicken strips or turkey meat and your child’s favorite cheese and condiments into nutritious whole-grain tortilla shells.

  • Don’t sweat the sweet stuff. If your child wants only sugar and more sugar, mix some sweet pickle relish or minced apples or grapes into your chicken or tuna salad. They taste sweet without sacrificing nutrition.

    Let your child help you prepare lunch. Some kids might be more open to eating the lunch they’re given if they’ve helped prepare the meal. You can use the time together to teach your child that some foods are good for our bodies and others are not.

  • Chuck the greasy chips. Opt for baked chips or crackers, trail mix with dried fruits and nuts, fresh vegetables and ranch dip or low-fat yogurt with bits of fresh fruit.

  • Ban the soda can. Water, low-fat milk, and 100 percent fruit juices are all much healthier alternatives.

If your kids enjoyed eating it for supper, they’ll probably like it for lunch, too. Don’t be afraid to pack the leftover chicken, cheese pizza, or other dinner fare your kids can eat cold.

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