Some preschools offer lunches and snacks; others do not. If the latter is the case, the responsibility falls on the parent to create an age-appropriate lunch box that is both balanced and nutritious.
What should go into a healthy lunch box? A lunch box must be age-appropriate, look colorful, and always contain a choice of the foods your preschooler likes to eat.
Five Food Categories To Include In Your Child’s Lunch Box
Finding something your child likes from each of the five main categories are probably foods they are eating already. The recommended categories are:
- Fresh fruit
- Whole grains
Lunch Box Ideas From Each Food Category
To point you in the right direction, here are a few tasty treat ideas that are equally nutritious in each food category:
If your preschooler likes dairy, include a small carton of nut, soy, goat, or cow’s milk, so long as it is not sweetened. Try small cheese cubes, parmesan match sticks, Greek yogurt, and Ricotta cheese. Children love eating things that look colorful and interesting, so try and present the food imaginatively.
If your child likes meat, roll up small slices of turkey or chicken. Mash up a little boiled egg and pop it on a sandwich. Tofu can be a little bland, so try and include it with something like green beans. Canned beans and any cooked legumes are high in protein as are seeds, nuts, and plant-based milk.
Be aware that some schools do not allow any kind of nuts in lunch boxes to protect preschoolers that may have nut allergies. Clarify with your preschooler’s teacher before packing these items in their lunches.
There are so many wonderful fruits to choose from. Consider sliced kiwi fruit, orange quarters, sliced banana, de-stoned olives, grape tomatoes, watermelon, or a few seedless grapes. Children generally have their favorites.
Most raw vegetables taste good, though veggies such as broccoli and zucchini can taste better when they have been lightly steamed. Why not add a small portion of hummus or tzatziki to dunk their raw veggies into? Other tasty raw vegetables can include sticks of carrot, red and yellow peppers, cucumber, celery, shelled peas, and green beans, to name just a few.
Whole grain bread sandwiches, wholewheat crackers, brown rice with some chopped veggies, bran muffin, wholegrain pasta with little chopped tomatoes. With a little thought and imagination, whole grains can be delicious.
Assess what you have in your fridge and pantry and figure out how they would work in your preschooler’s lunch box. Get suggestions and new ideas by asking other friends and moms. You’ve got this.
Healthy Foods For Preschoolers At Providence Children’s Academy
At Providence Children’s Academy, we are committed to helping you raise healthy and vibrant children. That’s why we offer the option of healthy snacks and lunches.
In addition to healthy foods, we also offer a variety of after-school care programs, summer camps, and more. If you are looking for an excellent preschool in Coconut Creek, call us today at 954 570 6914 to learn more.