American School of Natural Health (ASNH) is a strong advocate for sensible, healthy eating habits. These habits usually have a stronger impact in our lives at a very young age. With kids heading back to school soon, it’s a great opportunity to encourage healthy eating and set the stage for natural health by creating delicious and nutritious lunch boxes.
Most kids prefer foods that are easy to eat – so things that they can hold in one hand rather than complicated meals that need utensils are often preferred.
Tahini, which is made from sesame seeds, is a useful spread for the healthy lunchbox as it is filling and nutritious and very tasty to kids when some honey or a little fruit spread is added! Mini whole-meal pitta pockets with tahini, honey, cinnamon and thinly sliced banana are a favorite. Mini-quiches are also very quick and easy – make a couple of different versions – for example cumin, bell pepper and kidney beans and an oregano, feta and dried tomato so you can change it up through the week. You can make them in a frittata style – no pastry – in a silicon mold about the size of a small muffin or use a whole-meal pastry base.
In warmer months, summer rolls made from rice paper are fresh and delicious. Add julienned carrot, cucumber, rice noodles, shredded chicken and a little smear of hoisin sauce inside so you don’t need to send them with a dipping sauce. You can also try avocado nori rolls or muffins with pumpkin seeds, seasonal fruit, flaxseeds and oats. Avoid soft fruits such as berries or pears in the lunchbox as they become bruised and unappealing – put your soft fruits into muffins and fruit loaves, and send apples and easy peel mandarins, or bell pepper strips.
Cut right down on pre-packaged, processed and high sugar foods for steadier energy release and a calmer and more focused child. Encourage them to drink plenty of water. You may even want to start your OWN healthy lunchbox full of fresh organic produce and plenty of greens to set a great example.