1) Bento Box
This has to be my ultimate favourite option as you can easily balance their meal. It is kind of like the healthy version of a lunchable!
- Egg, Turkey or Chicken Salad mixed with olive oil mayo or vegenaise
- Nitrate Free Deli Meat – Vincenzo’s has great options…
- Hard Boiled Eggs – 1-2 peeled eggs sprinkled with salt or pepper
- Pulled chicken or pork from the previous night’s meal
- Fried cubes of tofu, or edamame beans for a vegetarian option
- Try to aim for 2 different colours of veggies.
- For these I try to pick ones that I know my daughter will eat. Leave the experimentation for home…
- I usually choose – cucumbers, celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes
- I usually put some finger fruits in one of the sections – stick to the lower sugar fruits if possible
- Blueberries, cherries, strawberries, sliced nectarines, plums, pears or apples.
- Depending on what your child likes and what you are allowed to bring to school….
- wow butter or sun butter to dip fruits in
- hummus or a yogurt dip for veggies
- avocado mashed with sea salt and lemon juice with some crackers
- marys gluten free crackers, or some brown rice crackers with some cheese, or hummus
- olives (great snack if they will eat them)
2) The Grilled Cheese
When I first got out of school, I was determined that my child would be taking kale salad to school. Since having kids I have softened my stance to sometimes there has to be a middle ground. We are not huge dairy or bread consumers in our house…so when my daughter came home from school with this idea that all she wanted was grilled cheese for lunch, we found a compromise.
I am not going to get into the cheese debate, but I will say that many times people in my office tend to come off of dairy…at least temporarily.
When you take people off something everyday, it is just natural that you don’t eat a lot of it in your house.
I don’t really have a problem with dairy, as long as people can tolerate it and it is a clean source.
If you are one of those people that can tolerate it…then you can use regular cheese.
If you have an intolerance…you can try vegan or goat cheese.
We do goat cheese on gluten free bread, or if you are okay with gluten then make sure it is whole grain.
As For The Frying:
Try using coconut oil instead of butter as it is a healthier form of saturated fat.
Send this with veggies and hummus or some fruit for a complete meal
3) Nachos and Dips
Sounds crazy right….but this can actually be a balanced meal
I usually put this in a bento box. One section is ½ avocado mashed with sea salt and lemon juice, other section is hummus and then a bean dip. I usually put fresh veggies to dip with, and then give them some organic corn chips or snap peas…or if they are adventurous even black bean chips, or lentil chips (health food section of zehrs or health food store) for an added protein punch.
For hummus…best is to make your own. Or, I find the cleanest brand with a mild taste that wont leave them breathing garlic all afternoon is Fontaine Sante. They actually have this brand at costco, or you can find it at the health food store
4) Bean Dip
You have to make this one, but it is really easy.
It literally takes 5 min, and all of the ingredients can be thrown in the blender at once.
My kind of cooking!!
- 2 cans of black beans (Eden organics do not use BPA in their can lining…found at the health food store)
- ½ cup of chopped onion
- ⅓ cup of chopped cilantro
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp of lime juice
- ¼ tsp of cumin
- ¼ tsp of chili powder
- ½ tsp of kosher salt
- ¼ tsp of black pepper
5) Lettuce Wraps
Who likes soggy sandwiches? No kid I know!
I find the lettuce wraps have gone over so much better in my house, plus you get to make your own which is pretty exciting.
The easiest thing I have found is chicken salad. I have played around with this, as I don’t like all of the mayo that normal recipes use.
I replace some of the mayo with greek yogurt and avocado.
- 2 chicken breasts – the easiest thing to do is use this lunch when you are having chicken for dinner the night before. If you make pulled crock pot chicken for dinner you will make this even easier on yourself for the next day – make 2 extra breasts, and then mix in the other ingredients for quick lunches
- 1 avocado
- ¼ cup greek yogurt
- ¼ cup olive oil mayo or veginnaise
- ⅓ cup of chopped celery
- 2 tsp lime juice
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ tsp of garlic or onion powder
- 1 tsp of cilantro if desired
Use your Bento box, and add the chicken salad to 1 section, and either crackers, or bread or lettuce to the larger section for them to make their own wraps.
Add veggies, or fruit for a balanced meal
Stay tuned next month as Dr. Cris is going to be presenting more healthy quick options for kids!!