It may seem like the first day of school was only a couple of weeks ago, or it may seem like the year is dragging on; but either way the middle of the semester is here. Some kids are always excited for school lunch, others prefer to bring a packed lunch and some get tired of school food around this halfway point and decide that they want to start bringing their lunch. No matter which category your child falls under, if you are wanting to teach your child how to eat right or even if you just want to lose weight yourself, packing a lunch is probably your best option. There are even guidelines that make it simple to pack a healthy lunch full of diet foods for picky eaters and diet foods for lunch.
Every low calorie and healthy school lunch should include:
- A healthy source of protein
- One or more pieces of produce
- A healthy source of calcium
- A fun food
Here are some tips and suggestions to help you follow these guidelines and create a low calorie lunch that your child, or maybe even yourself will enjoy!
- A healthy source of protein
- Turkey, ham, chicken, roast beef, tuna salad and peanut butter sandwiches are all great sources of protein, just be sure to avoid lunch meats with a lot of sodium and preservatives. Also be sure to stick to whole grain bread, wraps or pitas, add on plenty of fresh veggies, and stay away from regular mayo!
- There are plenty of healthy recipes for tuna and chicken salads out there, so don’t be afraid to look one up and try something new, our Skinny Jane challenges even come with healthy recipes for lunch, along with every other meal!
- Carrots, celery sticks, sweet bell peppers, cherry tomatoes and broccoli are all great veggies to throw in a sack lunch, especially if you pair them with hummus or a low-fat salad dressing for dipping!
- While all fruits are considered diet foods for picky eaters, the best fruits are berries, cherries, plums, citrus, kiwi, apples, grapes and mangos.
- Low fat cheese are a great source of calcium, whether it be cubes or the cheese sticks that we all love.
- Low fat yogurt is another fun way to incorporate calcium into a packed lunch, especially if you choose the squeezable or drinkable varieties.
- Skim milk, calcium fortified soy milk and calcium fortified orange juice are great drink choices to sneak in with the diet foods for lunch to make sure that you are getting enough calcium.
- A small piece of dark chocolate, small portion of trail mix, a granola bar, box of raisins, other dried fruit or dry cereal, baked chips or goldfish are all fun snacks to throw in to a packed lunch so that you don’t feel like you are missing out!
Make sure you let your child help in picking out the foods for their lunch, it will teach them how to eat right at a young age! The most important thing when packing a low calorie lunch with healthy recipes is to be creative and have variety! Make fruit kebabs, mix up the veggies and other foods you put in so that your child or yourself doesn’t get bored and tempted to eat unhealthy foods later in the day. Eating a healthy lunch is an easy way that can help you to lose weight and become healthier overall, so take a simple step today are start packing healthy lunches.
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