Kindergarten children eating packed lunch together

With the kids now back in the swing of school, it is more important than ever that your kids get the healthy, nutritious meals they need. Children that eat healthy school lunches will benefit from a stronger boost in body and mind. With a proper diet, they’ll receive the vitamins, nutrients and energy they need to pay attention and better retain the information they learn throughout the day. They will also have the energy to stay active in gym class, after school sports or just playing outside with friends after they do their homework, keeping them healthy and fit.

Children who are deprived of the healthy diet they need will miss out. They will become tired and disinterested in classroom activities, running the risk of falling behind in class and getting poor grades. After school, they won’t have the energy to take part in sports or activity either, which can potentially lead to a sedimentary lifestyle and the consequences that go along with it.

So why put your child’s dietary future in the hands of inconsistent and generally unhealthy school-provided lunches? Send your child off to school knowing they will be eating right with a healthy, homemade school lunch packed full of love and all the other things a growing child needs!

Here are some other helpful tips and recipes for preparing their next school lunch:

Don’t forget the fruit!

Alongside vegetables, fruits are the most important building blocks for a healthy diet. They are naturally low in fat, calories and sodium as well as being cholesterol free. Rich in essential nutrients like potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folic acid, fruits help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure and fight obesity. Obviously, all things you want for your children, so be sure to include plenty of fruit in their lunches. And you don’t have to limit yourself to just a banana or apple on the side. There are plenty of creative and fun ways to implement fruit in lunches your kids will love. Try this Black Bean, Tropical Fruit and Queso Blanco Salsa with some tortilla chips!

Give them a surprise!

Healthy lunches don’t just have to salads. Let’s face it: kids don’t necessarily see salads as an exciting or appetizing meal and may not be very responsive to day after day of salads. So, mix it up! There are plenty of creative and surprising meal ideas out there that are healthy and sure to impress your kids. For example, I’ll bet your kids would never think that you would give them pizza for lunch! Try using Randall Great Northern Beans in this Italian White Bean Pizza! This fun play on the classic Italian cuisine your kids know and love replaces the pizza sauce with mashed beans!

It doesn’t stop there, here are some more healthy pizza ideas using Randall Beans.

Mix it up!

School cafeterias do a good job of presenting variety in their menu, even if it isn’t always the healthiest or best quality. This gives lunch time a kind of excitement for kids, something they can look forward to. Don’t just give them the same thing every day! Try and recreate this excitement with packed lunches by finding a wide variety of dishes they like. This practice will give you a chance to help grown your child’s palate. Kick off the week with this healthy and delicious Tuscan Tuna-and-Bean sandwich with Great Northern Beans. Follow it up with a thermos full of Smokin’ Powerhouse Chili, a recipe straight from the USDA, with some Randall Black Beans.

 

Make sure your kids are getting what they need to succeed in school and start preparing them wholesome healthy lunches today! For other tips about healthy lunches and lifestyles, check out this helpful USDA toolkit. Head over to our recipe page for more delicious bean dishes!

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Great Northern White Beans are an important part of a healthy diet

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