Ideas for School Lunches

By Nancy Lovering
Create a healthy school lunch your child will enjoy.

Making healthy school lunches that your child will eat can be a challenge. Some children are choosy about food, and others get bored by the same lunch items day after day. Try variations of your child's favorites or introduce new ideas to keep your child interested in his mid-day meal.

Sandwiches

Try whole grain soft tortilla shells as an alternative to bread if your child is bored with sandwiches. Fill with cheeses, meats or chopped vegetables and fold like a soft taco. If your child has a sweet tooth, try an apple sandwich that tastes like a cinnamon bun: spread butter and a light layer of honey on whole grain bread, sprinkle with cinnamon, cover with sliced apple, and top with a second piece of buttered bread.

Healthy Treats

Pack granola bars that are homemade instead of store bought to increase the nutritional value. Visit the grains section of your super market and stock up on ingredients such as wheat germ, quinoa, oats, flax seed, bran and sunflower seeds. Flavor your homemade granola bars with cinnamon and honey or cocoa powder.

Finger Foods

Encourage your child to eat his vegetables by sending them in cut up in small pieces with his favorite dip. Cold leftover chicken cut into strips is also a good food for dipping sauce. Slice fruits like apples and oranges so that they are easier to eat. Try dried snacks, such as banana chips, cranberries and roasted and shelled pumpkin seeds.

Beverages

Use your child's beverage as an ice pack by adding ice to it or freezing it the night before. Ice added to a water bottle will keep the water refreshingly cold, as well as chill perishable lunch box items. If your child prefers juice, freeze her juice box. If she brings juice in a bottle, you can partially fill and freeze it, and then top it up with more juice before packing it in her lunch. If she brings a thermos instead and likes hot cocoa, make it from scratch so you can control the amount of sugar. Heat some milk, add cocoa powder and a touch of sugar, and flavor with cinnamon or orange extract.

About the Author

Nancy Lovering is a writer, photographer and teaching assistant. She took novel writing at Langara College and photography at British Columbia Institute of Technology. She obtained her teaching assistant certificate through Delta School District Continuing Education. She previously worked as an assistant controller while in the Certified General Accountants program, and has training in dog psychology through Custom Canine Teaching Ltd. in Vancouver, BC.