As a parent, your daily schedule is probably a whirlwind of activity. Between hectic mornings, homework help, and the craziness of family life, it can be difficult to find the time to think of new, healthy school lunches for your kids. Rushed planning and packing can often lead to convenient but unhealthy food choices, and eventually cavities. Thankfully, a little forethought can help you create nutritious, smile-friendly afternoon meals that your son or daughter is bound to love! Try these four school lunch ideas from your Long Island City children’s dentist to keep them happy and their smiles healthy.
1.) Breakfast for Lunch
If your child loves to have breakfast for dinner, try packing it for lunch as well! Hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit are quick and easy breakfast items that won’t cost you any extra time in the kitchen. You can also reheat leftover whole-grain banana pancakes or a slice of vegetable frittata and store in an insulated container to keep warm until lunchtime. Changing up their routine is a great way to keep mealtime exciting.
2.) DIY Lunch Kit
Give your little one the freedom to eat their lunch exactly how they like it with a prepackaged lunch kit. Store-bought lunch kits may be convenient, but they often lack essential nutritional value. Instead, try making a healthier, personalized one at home! Bento boxes or small, reusable containers are a great way to pack reasonable portions of your child’s favorite meats, cheeses, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. You can even portion out several lunches at the beginning of the week to make weekday mornings a little less chaotic.
3.) Lunch on a Stick
Another way to make lunch new and exciting is to skip the fork and serve healthy foods on a stick! Kebabs are a fun way to present almost any kind of food, from meats like chicken, meatballs, and fish to vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, and onions. In fact, you may be able to tempt your child into trying a healthy food they previously refused simply by letting them eat it off a stick!
4.) Soups or Salads
There’s nothing quite as comforting as enjoying a warm lunch on a cold school day. During the chilly months, try making meals like chicken noodle soup or beef stew for dinner then packing the leftovers for their lunch the next day. When the temperatures warm up, your child may enjoy a refreshing lunchtime salad. Pack croutons, salad dressings, and other add-ins in separate containers so that they stay fresh until your son or daughter combines them all for lunch.
Packing nutritious school lunches for your son or daughter is a great way to take care of their oral health on a daily basis. Use these ideas as inspiration for new ways to keep their growing smiles happy and cavity-free.
About the Author
At LIC Dental Associates in Long Island City, NY, we are dedicated to keeping your family’s smiles happy, healthy, and beautiful for a lifetime. Our in-office pediatric dentist Dr. Michelle Ng has over a decade of experience caring for growing smiles between the ages of six months and 17 years. She always goes the extra mile to help both you and your little one feel as comfortable, confident, and at-ease as possible during every visit. If you’d like more tips for taking care of your child’s smile at home, feel free to contact her via her website or at (718) 530-6539.