Back to school means back to figuring out what to pack for lunch! Choosing a healthy lunch for your child is important and it’s easy to fall into a humdrum routine. You’ve got plenty on your plate already, so Googaro has done the work for you! We’ve created 7 categories consisting not only of food suggestions, but playful ideas for packing a healthy, fun lunch!
Print out this article and keep it handy for your next shopping trip. By keeping the items below stocked in your house you will ensure a mix and match variety that keeps lunch time fresh and original long after the “back to school” novelty has worn off!
FRUITS/DIPS – Keeping a variety of juicy fresh fruit on hand allows for sweet snacks that are healthy and easy to pack:
- Variety of yogurt dips
*Googa tip – wash, cut, and package over the weekend so they’re ready to go during the week!
VEGGIES/DIPS – A variety of favorite veggies, prepped and cut into single servings, along with a favorite dip pack a crunchy boost to any child’s lunch:
- Grape tomatoes
- Ranch dressing
- Variety of hummus
*Googa tip – Make sure small containers used for dressings are easy enough for small fingers to open!
ON THE GO – These yummy suggestions require NO prepping. Keep these on hand for particularly busy mornings:
- Mini Babybel cheese
- Squeezable organic yogurt tubes
- Organic chips
- Yogurt drops
- Graham crackers
*Googa tip – saving “no prep needed” fruit choices like apples and bananas for extra busy mornings ensures you have always have healthy choices available!
FINGER FOODS – They may require a little extra prep work, but kids love fun finger foods, so they’re worth it:
- Cubed cheese
- Balls of melon
- Favorite cereal
- French toast or waffles cut into sticks
- Lady fingers
- Mini muffins
*Googa tip – Kids love being surprised by their favorite cereal as a snack!
TRADITIONAL – Perhaps your child wants nothing more than a good, old-fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. That doesn’t mean you can’t still experiment a bit to try and widen your child’s culinary horizons. Some schools have banned peanut butter due to allergies. Either way, this is the list for you:
- Apple Butter
- Hazelnut spread, like Nutella
- Fresh fruit in place of jelly or jam paired with cream cheese
- Whole wheat crackers instead of bread
- Rice cakes
- Hot dog bun + favorite spread + peeled banana in the center = giggles galore!
*Googa tip – Never give up trying new foods on a picky eater. It can take anywhere from 10 – 20 attempts before a child will accept a new food!
WRAPS – Wraps are fun and convenient and there is no limit to what you can fill them with. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
- Egg salad
- Garden salad with a favorite dressing
- Grilled veggies
- Avocado and tomatoes
- Cream cheese and tomatoes
- Cream cheese and jelly
- Peanut butter and jelly wrapped around a peeled banana
*Googa tip – After filling and rolling up the wrap, slice into 1 inch thick pieces, then stand those pieces upright for “sandwich sushi” – playful bite size rolls that resemble sushi rolls!
PLAYFUL – Play with your food! Lunch time can be fun and healthy:
- Celery stalks + peanut butter + raisins = Ants On a Log
- Boring sandwich + cookie cutters = Fun lunchtime surprise
- Shredded carrots = crazy hair or antenna
- Toothpicks + flag stickers + finger foods = classy lunch “hor d’oeuvres”
- Small skewer of grapes + orange slice cut in half = Butterflies
*Googa tip – Get creative! It will brighten your day knowing your child will smile and think of you while you’re apart!