Getting your kids to eat a healthy balanced diet is no simple task, but what your children eat and drink while they're at home on summer break can significantly impact their oral health. Putting together your children's lunches helps give you control over what nutrients your child eats while they're at school, but it's essential to keep the routine of healthy lunches up while they're at home on break. Today's families are busy, and making healthy, well-balanced lunches isn't always easy, but it's worth it.
Here are a few convenient and healthy options for last-minute lunch ideas that your kids will actually eat while they're home this summer.
Making At-Home Lunches a Whole Lot More Fun
So your kids aren't crazy about the raw carrot sticks you packed as a snack in a Ziplock during the school year, and who could blame them? When it comes to kids, presentation is everything, so make eating different foods fun! Kids are drawn to colors, shapes, and textures, so try these fun ideas to get your children more interested in the foods that make a difference in their health.
Bento Boxes Aren't Just For the School Cafeteria
Bento boxes are a great way to incorporate many different food choices into your child's lunch because the box can be loaded with various tasty, healthy foods without much prep. Giving your child a variety of colors and options is an excellent alternative to the typical sandwich approach.
Try filling the box with these options and look to sites like Pinterest for some inspiration on what to pack to shake things up:
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Fresh fruit
- Cheese cubes
- Deli meats
- Bell peppers
- Diced chicken
- Yogurt drops
A Twist On The Traditional Sandwich
Take your sandwich skills to the next level by taking your traditional sliced bread filled with lean lunch meats like turkey, leafy greens, sliced veggies, and cheese and flattening it out with a rolling pin. Then roll the sandwich up and cut it into small sections like a sushi roll for a fun, new take on your traditional sandwich.
Food Groups to Embrace and Avoid
When it comes to the foods that kids like to grab, convenient options like pudding cups, chips and crackers are fan favorites because they require minimal effort. But what's convenient is not always healthy and the best option.
A good snack is low in carbohydrates, doesn't stick to the teeth, and is eaten quickly. By prepping healthy grab-and-go snack options ahead of time, your kids will have something with nutritional value to grab when they're looking for something quick.
Some good food options to prep ahead of time include:
- Raw, crunchy vegetables
- Raw, leafy vegetables
- Fresh fruits
- Whole grains
- Nut butter
- Lunchmeat rolls
- Iced non-caffeinated tea
- Hard-boiled eggs
And foods that should be avoided are:
- Dried fruit
- Fruit snacks
Keep Beverage Choices Healthy, Too
When it comes to how sugary drinks impact oral health, the scientific evidence is overwhelming. Sugar is the most important dietary factor in causing tooth decay, and soft drinks are the largest source of sugar in many kids' diets. Even your child's favorite fruit juice can be just as damaging as a soda. When it comes to hydrating your children, the best advice is to keep it simple and develop your child's love for the water at a young age. When in doubt, water is always best! If your kids are already complaining that they're bored of water, try brewing some non-caffeinated tea in a large glass pitcher and putting it in the fridge in place of juice. This simple trick adds some flavor to their water with no added sugars.
To schedule your child's six-month cleaning and exam while they're out of school, contact Tompkins Dental today.