Healthy Lunch Ideas For Kids A Winning Lunch Box

Okay, let’s face it, kids are the most fickle ones to feed, especially when it comes to feeding them a healthy lunch. As a parent of two, I always encounter these difficulties whenever I feed my young ones. This becomes more difficult if you are working and barely have time to prepare meals to their liking. Most often than not, parents resort to the easy fix, which is letting the kids eat whatever they want. Instead of a healthy lunch, they get fast food or something processed from the pantry.

Fussy eating is not uncommon for children of all ages. However, this behaviour sometimes extends way beyond their formative years and well into their teens and even to adulthood.

lunch box ideas for kids

Food Neophobia

Believe it or not, there is a scientific term for picky or fussy eating, food neophobia. In an article published in the National Institute of Health , food neophobia is described as a reluctance to eat or avoidance of food. Fussy eaters usually don’t eat enough food or are not eating a wide variety of foods at meal times needed to get the best possible nutrients, needed for growth and daily energy expenditures. The article delves into the relationship of certain factors on why kids exhibit unhealthy eating behaviors. Factors like age, personality, gender, social influences, and parental feeding practices come into play here.

The general consensus is this, children’s picky eating results in a child being underweight and undernourished, or the complete opposite, resulting in being overweight or even obese. In both instances, these can result in serious health problems.

Parental Responsibility

There are certainly a lot of factors why children are fussy eaters, but one thing is certain, it is us parents who will ultimately have to deal with his or her child’s picky eating behaviour at meal times.

Parent’s provide children with a view into how eating healthily and adequately should be for each meal of the day. These are called food environments, which include the parent’s eating behaviours and how they feed their children. There is a body of research on how a parents eating pattern ultimately influences a child’s eating habits. A child whose parents are overweight will more likely be at risk of becoming overweight as well. This is also true of children whose parents are underweight.

healthy lunch recipe

Although genetics also plays a role in our body types, we parents can ultimately control how our child eats by setting good examples at meal times, with the healthy recipes we cook, and by making sure that our children are provided with adequate nutrition through food intake. By providing a healthy food environment, healthy meals and healthy lunches for kids, we are assured of them being of better health.

Healthy Lunch Ideas

Parents must be both innovative and proactive in providing healthy and adequate meal choices for their kids. Here are a few meal ideas that will make creating a healthy food environment for your kids a little easier. Stock your freezer with healthy lunch options and follow these simple meal ideas on how to make your lunch with kids more healthy.

Prep Healthy Lunch Meals

For years gym rats and fitness buffs have been prepping their healthy lunch meals in dozens of Tupperware containers. And there is no question that preparing your meals ahead of time is effective in making sure that we provide nutritious meals for our kids.

healthy meal prep

Nutrition is the foundation for healthy living for both us as parents and our children. The availability of healthy and nutritious food at all times is certainly a good way to make sure that kids stay fit and healthy. Meal preparation also helps us to keep away from processed and unhealthy food. Meal prepping your kid’s healthy lunches helps you save time, effort and money while making sure that your kids stay healthy. You just need to buy healthy options such as fish, meat, vegetables and fruits, prepare the meals via a weekly menu and store or pack them in your fridge or freezer to make them accessible whenever you need a quick, nutritious and ready to eat meal at home, or when out and about.

Be Inventive With Your Healthy Lunches

Play with colours, textures and shapes. Sometimes healthy food may look bland and unappetizing to kids. Most often than not, children will not touch the food in their lunch box that does not appeal to them. Kids being kids, they want to play with their food as well.

The way to make kids eat a healthy lunch is to create ways to make it more appealing to them. You can make pasta and homemade sausages appealing by creating different shapes and combinations with them. Shapes like stars, triangles, squares etc for example will not only pique the curiosity of kids but will also encourage them to eat.

Instead of cooking vegetables the usual way, you can incorporate the veggies into fritters or into homemade burger patties by grinding or mincing the veggies into the patty. That way, kids won’t be able to see the vegetables but they will still eat the burger. You can also incorporate different spices and herbs into the dishes to make children appreciate the flavours of food. The key to a successful healthy lunch is to make things interesting and arouse the curiosity of the kids.

healthy lunch ideas

Be The Example

Kids will almost always follow their parents, so it is important for parents to show their kids how to eat healthily. Make it a family lifestyle to snack on fresh fruits and eat healthy lunches most days. Cook healthy recipes at home as much as possible so the children appreciate the importance of eating together as a family. These meal times will make the kids appreciate made at home meals more than junk or fast food.

Involve the kids. As with any activity, always involve the kids. Children will take eating a healthy lunch seriously when they are part of the process. Make them choose their snacks from a list you make. At all times, make sure that kids are involved. Let them, help cook the healthy recipes, start a little veggie patch at home, assist with storing or choosing the containers. For me, I know my 3-year-old is always excited to show everyone what he and mommy cooked up in the kitchen, and then soon after, devour the healthy lunch in their lunch box with a sense of accomplishment. If we appreciate the value of eating healthy and the process of cooking healthy recipes, then our children are more likely to as well.

Educate The Kids

It is no secret that kids are able to understand concepts easily when adults explain it to them as if they are adults as well. Kids will appreciate their parents when they explain the value of the food they eat and the benefit from cooking and eating a healthy recipe. It will also make decision making easier whenever groceries are needed to stock up the fridge and pantry. Kids with an active awareness of healthy meal options will most likely recommend or suggest better meal options if the nutritional and health benefits of food are known to them.

So there you go! These are simple and basic healthy lunch ideas. Always remember, parents have a big role in making sure that kids eat healthy and nutritious meals at home and in school.


healthy lunch ideas for kids