A fun and healthy brown bag lunch can be easily achieved with just a little planning.
Kids love finger food, small pieces of yummy goodness they can easily toss into their mouth while talking about their favorite television show or video game will quickly get eaten up. There are lots of healthy foods that can be made into finger foods for your kids, vegetables are one of the best and most nutritious choices you can make, baby carrots are great because they are pretty much ready to go, just throw a few in a zip lock baggie, cherry tomatoes are also a good choice but I would cut them in half first to avoid the possibility of squirting tomato goop across the table. Celery is also good and you can stuff it with a low fat cream cheese or peanut butter, whatever veggies you choose make sure it is on the list of healthy foods your child will eat.
It’s not a fun brown bag lunch if your child doesn’t like it and it will either get traded for a cookie or just tossed in the trash.
Low fat cheese is also a great choice to help avoid the brown bag blues, kids usually love it and you can buy it either already cut into pieces or you can buy the block of cheese and cut it up yourself. Don’t forget about the fruits, blueberries have made the list of one of the healthiest foods you can eat so why not give them to your kids. Since blueberries are small already there is no need to cut them up, but if you are giving them melons or strawberries you should clean them and cut them up. Apples actually make a better after school or at home snack choice because if you cut them up they will turn brown and icky and most likely will fill up the trash can.
If you buy yogurt, try to buy the ones with the plastic lids, after eating the yogurt you can wash them out and reuse the cups to fill with fruits, dipping sauces or home made Jell-O.
Making sandwiches for your kids brown bag lunch can be made healthier by changing the bread to whole wheat or low fat soft taco shells work well as a wrap. If making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, use an all natural low fat peanut butter and a no sugar added preserves, then you can cut them up into four pieces or if you really want to make it fun use a big cookie cutter and make the sandwich into different shapes.
Kids also usually like boiled eggs and they are a good source of protein so go ahead and occasionally throw one in that brown bag.
Whatever you choose to throw into your kids brown bag, keep in mind that a healthy brown bag lunch does not include fatty, sugary foods. Avoid juice boxes unless they are all natural with no added sugars, fruit snacks and snack cakes are also very bad for your child because they have a high sugar and or fat content. When choosing food for the brown bag lunch read the back, yogurt seems like a healthy choice, but those yogurts that are made for kids and look fun are really loaded with lots of sugar and additives so make sure you choose a low fat, no sugar added type.
A healthy brown bag lunch can be fun and it will help your kid focus on learning, I must emphasize once again to make sure the foods you put in the lunch bag are foods your child will like otherwise they will end up in the trash. Teachers and Lunch room supervisors cannot be expected to force your kid to eat and they do not monitor what gets thrown into the trash.