Now that school is starting, I am thinking of lunches. My goal is to provide my kids (11 and 8) with yummy, healthy lunches that are less gluten heavy than in the past (sandwiches, pasta), without replacing it all with gluten-free bread and pasta 😉 I thought of you and your daughter. Maybe you went through this, too? Something that’s not soggy by the time lunch rolls around.
I’d love your thoughts.
LunchHound in Victoria, BC
You are not alone! The challenge of making yummy, healthy lunches that do not use the familiar staples can be a real challenge. The good news is that the task is not impossible and can be a lot of fun.
Here are five tips for packing healthy lunches for your kids:
Wraps are your friend. If you have not yet tried the Nori Rice Paper Wraps (p. 217), now is the time! This easy replacement for sandwiches will change your life forever. The wraps are easy-to-make, can be filled with almost anything your kids like, and are so sturdy you can take them in your backpack hiking if you want. They are a great way to use up leftovers that your kids love as well. To learn more, you might enjoy the Vancouverscape blog by Ariane Colenbrander about these wraps. Also, if you are in the area on Sunday, September 25th from 2:00-4:00 pm, I will also be demonstrating how to make these wraps at the North Van Choices Market as part of my support for the charity fundraising European river tour initiative that Journeys With Heart is sponsoring to benefit the Canadian Celiac Association-Vancouver Chapter.
Kids love dips. Whether your kids are the protein-packed Hummus-type (p. 241) or love to devour Guacamole (p. 238) or any other favourite dip, pack a bit of it in their lunches with veggies that they can eat it with and they will be the envy of the lunchroom, and getting loads of nutrition at the same time. Make chips & crackers like the Vegetable Flax Crackers (p. 232) or Chia Chips (p. 235). Not only are they crunchy and delicious, but are packed with nutrients and good omega-3 fats as well. They can also be paired with dips as well.
Cook with your kids. Start a weekend routine to make food for lunches ahead of time with your kids. Ask them what they want to fill their wraps with or what dips they would like that week in their lunches, then teach them how to make the dishes with you. Their confidence will be boosted, as well as their pride when they eat the food at lunch that they helped to make.
Think outside the box. Lunches can be a creative adventure. In fact, kids often enjoy having various tasty items to nibble on in their lunches—so have fun including favourite appetizers, snacks and healthy treats as well!
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