A handy guide featuring the crucial nutrient combination that is needed in every lunchbox to make you and your child’s midday meal satisfying and nourishing. Plus some simple, yet delicious, food combinations that you can use during the school year (and for work!) to keep fueled during long, busy days.
Packing a healthy lunch for your kids (and yourself!) doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, it’s as easy as a simple math equation. Here’s the way I like to think about packing a healthy, filling lunch in terms of the nutrients we all need to have a well-rounded meal…
LEAN PROTEIN + HEALTHY FATS +
COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES +
FRESH PRODUCE + ONE FUN FOOD
Lean proteins can be anything from leftover grilled chicken to cubed tofu, healthy fats can be nuts or salad dressing, complex carbohydrates can be your whole grain sandwich bread or leftover sweet potato fries from dinner the night before. You always want to add volume to your meal by adding fresh produce in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables! Sliced carrots and cucumbers with hummus is a great pick and whole or sliced fruit will help you reach your 5-a-day goal.
As for a “fun food”, it’s 100% appropriate and, well, HEALTHY to include a small treat in yours and your child’s lunchbox too! Keep the treat to something made with wholesome ingredients like a homemade cookie, a piece of well made dark chocolate, or a serving trail mix!
Now that you have my Healthy Lunchbox Formula, I am going to share 5 sample meals that you can pack for your family to give everyone lasting energy all day long. Meat, fish, vegetarian, and vegan options available to cater to whichever dietary lifestyle you are your children follow!
black beans mixed 1/4 cup salsa + 1 single serve guacamole cup + 1 serving wholegrain tortilla chips + 1 cup vegan yogurt with mixed berries
vegan | gluten-free | nut-free
sliced bananas & Sunbutter spread on toasted whole-wheat or gluten-free waffles + low-fat cottage cheese with sliced grape tomatoes + single serve chocolate almond milk
vegetarian | gluten-free | nut-free
sliced low sodium deli turkey on a whole wheat pita with low-fat cheese, mustard, and sliced veggies(cucumber, spinach leaves, sliced bell peppers, etc) + 1 cup plain Greek yogurt with healthy granola + sliced apple with natural peanut butter
high-protein | low-sodium | high-fiber
tuna salad (made with Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, red onion, salt & pepper) with whole grain flatbread crackers + a side salad with homemade salad dressing + grapes + a small wholegrain cookie or piece of dark chocolate
pescatarian | nut-free
hummus & veggie roll up in a brown rice tortilla + part skim cheese stick +1 serving of homemade trail mix (unsweetened dried fruit, raw nuts, whole grain cereal or pretzels, and dark chocolate) + an easy to peel clementine
vegetarian | gluten-free
Do you pack a lunch for work or for school?
What are your favorite healthy food to include in your or your child’s lunchbox?Stay connected:Instagram: HealthyHelperFacebook: Healthy HelperTwitter: @Healthy_HelperPinterest: Healthy_HelperTikTok: KailaProulxBloglovin’: Healthy HelperShop with me on Amazon. Favorite products, fun finds, and more!