Healthy and Nutritious Lunch Ideas for Kids
Preparing kids’ lunches every day can be challenging. However, if you know the right ways, you’ll find it easier to do.
Let’s start with what we all know—kids easily get bored of eating the same menu repeatedly. That’s why it’s important for you not to run out of lunch ideas so your kids get different dishes every day. What’s more, kids need highly nutritious food to grow well, so you must also make sure the menu you prepare covers their nutritional needs.
The Importance of Lunch for Kids
Lunch is much more than food to satisfy your kids’ hunger at school. It provides them with many other benefits, too. First, it helps replace the energy they lose because of their busy activities. It also allows them to save their allowance money. Moreover, as homemade food is usually healthier, it may reduce the risk of them developing obesity and high blood pressure.
By packing lunches for your kids, you’re teaching them to resist the urge to spend their money on various unhealthy food. If your kids are happy with their tasty lunches, they’ll finish them. If they finish their lunches, they’ll feel full. It prevents them from buying more snacks.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its report, nutrient intake affects kids’ performance at school. Enough healthy food can support their brain functions, improve their academic grades, and even reduce their feeling of wanting to skip school.
Compared to those who don’t, children who pack their lunches to school usually feel much fuller and rarely get hungry before dinner time. However, your kids should still get the same nutrition even during the COVID-19 pandemic where your kids study at home. You still need to be ready with various simple yet tasty and healthy lunch ideas to fulfill their body requirements.
Simple yet Tasty Kids’ Lunch Ideas
Kids’ lunch boxes must be filled with a complete set of nutrients. You shouldn’t randomly put things together; each food your kids eat should have a significant impact on them. Try to make dishes that contain energy, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Here are four simple, healthy, and yummy lunch ideas for your kids.
Pasta is a substitute for rice; both pasta and rice contain carbs. If your kids think rice is too mainstream, pasta can be your choice. There are various types of pasta, such as macaroni, spaghetti, fettuccini, ravioli, and penne, you can use for this dish.
The key to a great pasta dish is perfectly cooked pasta or al dente—the pasta shouldn’t be hard but not too soft either; it should have a tiny amount of resistance when you bite into it. The most common topping you can use besides the vegetables is chicken, but you can always use shrimp, beef, or eggs.
Chicken Yakitori Rice plus Veggies
In countries like Indonesia, rice is usually kids’ favorite source of carbs. However, you need creativity to make a variety of rice dishes, so your kids don’t easily get bored. What you need to pay attention to when creating a rice dish is the overall nutritional value for your kids. For this specific dish, you can add vegetables to complete the chicken rice.
Meatballs Fried Rice
Fried rice might not be something new for your kids. But, what if you combine fried rice with various meatballs? Meatballs are one of the kids’ favorite foods, so mix different meatballs with different shapes into your fried rice. You can also add other ingredients you think your kids will like as long as they don’t reduce the nutritional value of the food.
Meatballs fried rice will guarantee your kids’ appetite for its combination of rice’s sweet taste and the meatballs’ savory taste. The dish is, of course, also contains nutrients that are beneficial for your kids, especially to help them stay energized while on the move.
Meat and Veggie Roll-Ups Bento
If your kids are bored of eating rice and its alternatives for lunch, this lunch menu is what you’re looking for. You can make this dish for not only your kids but also your husband. You still use rice as the source of carbs but treat it differently by turning it into roll-ups. You can also use mashed potatoes to replace the rice.
To ensure its nutritional value, you can put in some vegetables that are beneficial for your kids. Try to cut the vegetables up into attractive shapes because not all children like them. You can also fill the bento roll-ups with smoked beef, chicken, or fish which are also good for kids.
Healthy Lunch for Kids
We understand that it is irritating if your kids don’t finish their lunch. However, instead of scolding your kids for not finishing their lunch, you need to understand what kinds of highly nutritious food your kids like and won’t refuse.
Also, pay attention to your kids’ sources of nutrients. Give them different types of food, for example, carbs from rice, protein from meat and eggs, and vitamins and fiber from fruits and vegetables. Your lunch ideas can range from rice to pasta, from beef to chicken to eggs, from broccoli to spinach. The menu may be simple and ordinary, but it can be meaningful for your kids.
Those are some healthy and nutritious lunch ideas you can adopt. Consuming healthy and nutritious food will help kids grow and develop well. With the right nutrients, it will be easier for them to learn and memorize lessons at school.
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