+ Healthy Lunch Box Tips and Recipes (to get more veggies into your kids lunch box)

Healthy Lunch Box Tips and Recipes (to get more veggies into your kids lunch box)

According to a Griffith University study, most kids lunch boxes fall well short nutritionally with more than 70% of school lunches containing no vegetables at all. In a world where there is so much conflicting information about the best foods to eat, one thing that ALL health authorities agree upon, is that we need to be eating as many vegetables as possible.

So today I thought I’d share some tips and recipes to help you get more vegetables into your kids school lunch and gobbled-up!

Communication is the key
The most important tip I have for you is to make sure you communicate with your kids to find out how they would like have vegetables included in their lunchbox. Throwing a few veggies in their lunchbox and crossing your fingers is asking for wastage and can also build resentment. When working with families of food fussy kids I’ve found that a little communication and choice goes a long way to improving their kids eating habits. Explain to your kids that vegetables will help them be faster/ smarter/ have clearer skin/ be better at their chosen sport or whatever appeals to them the most. Don’t tell them they need to eat them because they are ‘healthy’ or ‘good for them’ – most kids couldn’t care less! Get them to choose two vegetables each day to eat at lunchtime.

Packing cooked vegetables
If your kids like their vegetables cooked, then that’s how they should be packed. Leftovers from dinner are the easiest inclusions (roasted, baked or steamed vegetables). Remember to add dressings or dips to make them as enticing as possible. There is a significant taste difference between a piece of plain, cold steamed broccoli  and the same, but well seasoned and dressed in lemon juice and olive oil for example.

Packing raw vegetables
Raw vegetables are easy to prep and pack in the morning. Check in with your kids how they like them cut – when my kids have wobbly teeth they prefer their carrots cut into bite sized pieces (rather than sticks). Again, add in a dip if this will help them over the line.

Getting them involved
Kids of any age can pack their own lunch and when they do, they are way more likely to eat it. For little kids, peel and cut the vegetables thy have chosen to eat and then get them to place them into their lunchbox. Older kids can do it all by themselves.

Hiding vegetables 
I’ve already covered the advantages and disadvantages of hiding vegetables in this post here. Try to include as many whole vegetables as possible, but also disguise them in tasty meals and treats for an extra boost.

Lunch Box friendly recipes that feature vegetables:

  • Rice Paper Rolls – anything can be wrapped in these, anything at all. This post runs you through how to roll them as well as ideas for what to fill them with.
  • Zucchini, Mint and Haloumi Fritters are delicious as a side for dinner and leftovers are so good for lunch the next day.
  • Dips are a great way to include veggies – my extra healthy versions of Basil Pesto and Coriander and Lime Pesto are delicious and super nourishing.
  • My Quinoa Patties are a delicious way to sneak in extra leafy greens.
  • I love these Chicken Nuggets with hidden veggies from Sistermixin’.
  • How about these Broccoli and Cheese Mini-muffins from Kidgredients.
  • A fantastic way to include veggies is this Avocado Brown Rice Sushi from Stacey Clare.
  • My Probiotic Carrot Sticks are not only a fabulous source of vitamins and minerals but a great way to support digestion. My kids make these themselves (video at the bottom of the recipe) and they are a real favourite in our house.
  • Sweet treats are also great for boosting your kids vegetable intake. My legendary Brownies and Carrot Cake Slice both contain a serve of vegetables.
  • These Healthy Spiced Pumpkin Muffins from the Paleo Power Couple are also good for breakfast or the lunchbox (sans the walnuts for nut-free).
  • The Root Cause have a fabulous Tuna Patty with a veggie boost that’s definitely worth a try.
  • Pack in some veggies with Brenda Janschek’s yummy Quesadillas.

 

BACK TO SCHOOL OFFER
I’m so passionate about ensuring kids eat plenty of vegetables throughout the day, I have a whole section on how to include them in my bible of all things lunchbox  ‘The Well Nourished Lunchbox’ ebook. To celebrate back to school, until the end of February 2017 it’s 10% off with the promo code NEWYEAR. Find out more or buy it HERE.

Comments are closed.

Kind words…

“I downloaded your ebooks after hearing you speak at the Health and Wellness Summit in Melbourne. Love them, life changing… Don’t stop! Thank you for getting the whole food message out there, I certainly heard it.” Melanie

“I love your ebooks, I have all three of them now and they are now my only go to receipe books. They are simple, wholesome and taste great. THANK YOU!!! I have spent alot of money on courses about healthy eating and recipe books but your books have covered it all and my little man enjoys the snacks etc. Wish I would have found you earlier “. Brooke

“I just want to say a huge thank you for your amazing website and information. I’ve never liked cooking and never got excited by my ‘healthy’ cooking. My husband is even worse and if he could, he would just eat beacon and eggs every morning and steak every night. He hardly ate any veggies. Since I found your website I have gone through almost every recipe. My husband is loving every meal as well – even meat free Monday, and he’s taking left-overs to work for lunch (honestly, who thought that could be so hard?!)” Rose

“You have truly helped me and my family to lead a healthier lifestyle. I’ve been referring to your page every few days, very inspiring, so thank you!” Emily

“Thank you very much for your awesome website & facebook page posts, you have motivated & inspired me heaps!” Fiona

“Just discovered your site 3 weeks ago, its been a great help with kids lunches for back to school, thanks so much!” Ange

“What a fantastic blog filled with so many great recipes and information!” Carla

“I just wanted to let you know that you have absolutely inspired me to a better way of eating, I’ve been making my shopping lists based on recipes you’ve shared and am educating my kids with the reasons behind different foods and why they are good etc! This page has become my little bible hehe! Thank you so much for all the detail you give. It’s absolutely wonderful!” Sky

FREE Newsletter
chocolate-recipe-200X204

Register to receive:

  • FREE Chocolate Ebook
  • Weekly whole food recipes
  • Practical health and nutrition tips
  • Subscribers only special offers

Sign up for our Newsletter

* indicates required