Back to school is just around the corner, and that means getting back into the habit of making lunches for your kids! Building a lunch can go beyond just simply feeding your child. It can be a great opportunity to encourage healthy eating habits! Healthy eating starts at home with parents encouraging children to try new and healthful foods during family meals. Make good choices and your children will too!
We eat with our eyes so it’s important to make food appealing. One of the easiest things you can do is make meals colorful. Eat the rainbow isn’t just a slogan for candy, it’s a healthy approach to ensuring a diversity of fruits and veggies as well as the nutrients these foods deliver. Try adding as many colors as possible to your plate. Your children will love it. Another idea is to have fun with food. Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean strict limitations and blandness, have some fun with food pairings and be creative. Kids love seeing their food come to life!
Parents can encourage healthy eating outside of the house, too. You’ve probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right? While it is super important to start the school day with a nutritious breakfast, lunch is just as important! When children don’t eat a healthful lunch they might have trouble concentrating in class and, as a result, struggle with achieving good grades. Providing a nutritious lunch will help them focus on the rest of their school day.
Think beyond a sandwich and chips for lunch and try making a colorful, fun bento box! This is a great way to incorporate many different food groups while also making food fun. Our friends at Driscoll’s are sharing a creative, easy recipe for an adorable treat that you can add to your child’s bento box that is sure to get them excited about eating healthy foods. You can even get them involved in the preparation – they will love to see what they can create out of these simple foods!
- 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 Cup mixed Driscoll’s Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
- 1/2 Cup mini carrots
- 1 Red licorice whip
- 2 Driscoll’s Strawberries, hulled
- 4 Almond slices
- 6 Mini chocolate chips (4 chocolate and 2 white chocolate preferred)
- 2 Slices sandwich bread
- Have a shallow bento box and two cupcake papers on hand.
- Cut two 4-inch licorice lengths and insert one into each strawberry at the hole created when berry was hulled. Insert one white chocolate chip (tip first) at tip of each strawberry to create mouse’s nose. Insert two chocolate chips a half-inch up from the nose to form eyes. Insert an almond slice above each eye to form ears. Place strawberry mice in cupcake papers and put into bento box.
- Stack bread slices on top of each other and trim to shape that mimics cheese wedge. Unstack slices and use small, round cookie cutters (or extra-large straws) to cut holes into one of the slices. Spread the uncut slice of bread with peanut butter, top with the holed slice of bread, and fill holes with berries of varying sizes to match sizes of holes.
- Place sandwich in bento box and fill any surrounding gaps with carrots and berries