Children’s bodies are constantly in a state of growth. Even with small changes, such as growth spurts, kids need more nutrients and calories than what they burn to fuel that growth. That’s why getting the right nutrition is so important.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages nutrient-dense grain foods, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and high-quality protein to fuel kids’ development. Grain foods are loaded with B vitamins to help promote cell metabolism, fiber to support a healthy gut, and iron to make healthy blood cells.
For on-the-go meals for children, including school lunch, try to include something from all food groups, within the recommended serving size. Here are some simple packable meals:
- Try out a classic Tuna Sandwich on whole grain bread with baby spinach leaves, tomato, and cheese. Darker greens such as spinach give kids more calcium and potassium, with whole grain bread providing numerous B vitamins and plenty of fiber.
- Struggling to find snacks to pack? Make your own! Homemade Snack Mix is perfect for letting you and your little one choose healthy and enjoyable options such as Chex cereal, popcorn, nuts, dried fruit, and other add-ins. This is also great for those picky eaters!
- If you struggle with your child only eating the sweet treats in their lunchbox, a Centurion Energy-Up Sandwich is the perfect alternative. Whole grain bread layered with almond or peanut butter, honey, banana, and chocolate chips still satisfies their sweet tooth but also packs in protein along with a serving of fruit and whole grains.
- Honey Ham Wraps with Swiss are a fun spin if your little one is not a fan of sandwiches. The fillings can be substituted with whatever works best for your child. These are great to get them involved and help make!
With back-to-school in full swing, locking down a lunch-making routine may be tricky, but worth it in the long run for your little one’s growing bodies!