This has been the longest summer break ever, and it’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again — back to school! And, whether your kiddos are returning to school per usual, doing a combo with some virtual learning, or even if you’re homeschooling, back to school lunchbox ideas may be on your mind.
The good news is that there’s no need to overcomplicate things. Keeping things simple, especially during the uncertainty of everything that’s going on right now, is always welcome. Here are five simple back to school lunchbox hacks to help set the tone for a healthy school year, no matter where your child may be getting their education, be it in the classroom or at home.
5 Simple (and Healthy) Back to School Lunchbox Hacks
1. Get Smart About The Actual “Box”
There are so many lunchbox options available. The one you pick may actually make it easier to encourage healthy eating. Try a bento-style lunchbox that has divided sections to make it easier to present healthy food options to your kiddo in a fun way. Many companies even offer fun magnets or stickers to add to the lunchbox to make lunchtime fun!
2. Make it Colorful
It’s super common for kids to gravitate towards things like bread and chips. If you feel like you can’t get away from the typical PB&J lunch, you’re not alone. This year, try making things colorful by adding some berries, and veggies like bell peppers, cucumbers, and celery sticks. You can make it fun by adding these fruits and veggies to little silicone cups. Or try making “ants on a log” with a celery stick, almond butter, and some raisins (if age appropriate). Often it’s the way you present the healthier foods that help encourage kids to eat their fruits and veggies!
3. Make That Bag of Chips Healthier
If your kids are always asking for a bag of chips with their sandwich, try making some yummy healthier chips together on the weekend! From zucchini chips to kale chips and even sweet potato chips, there are plenty of options to still enjoy a “chip,” just in a healthier way. Plus, if you get your kids involved in the process, they may be even more excited to try it.
4. Try Reusable Silicone Squeeze Pouches
You can get these from almost anywhere, and they are total game-changers for getting away from the sugary fruit pouches we find at the store. You can add unsweetened yogurt with a squeeze of pure maple syrup to these or make your own fruit squeeze blend using your kid’s favorite fruits.
5. Add a Healthy Sweet
If your child has a sweet tooth, you’re not alone. It also doesn’t help that so many packaged kids’ snacks are loaded with added sugar. The good news is that you can bake up a healthier version that’s equally as delicious as their favorite muffin or brownie. Try getting creative with healthy swaps. Here are some simple ways to make your kiddos favorite sweet treat a bit healthier:
- Use coconut oil vs. butter
- Try almond flour vs. wheat flour
- Add some superfood seeds like flax, hemp, or chia to things like homemade muffins or cookies.
- Sneak in some veggies (like zucchini) or even black beans into brownies or muffins!
Here’s to Healthy Lunches & A Healthy Year!
If you’ve been looking for ways to make your kiddos lunchboxes a bit healthier this year, try these five hacks. They are simple and make lunchtime fun, healthier, and delicious. They may inspire you to take some of these hacks into other meals of the day that the whole family can enjoy.