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Packing healthier lunches doesn’t mean emptying out your whole pantry. A couple of simple (and tasty) healthy food swaps will have everyone smiling and enjoying their healthier lunches. Looking for even more ideas? Check out these great healthy foods for your kids lunchbox.
1. Pack whole fruit
Rather than fruit in gelatin or fruit in syrups, try packing cut apples (held together with a rubber band to prevent browning), grapes, or sliced strawberries. Whole fruit packs fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It’s naturally sweet so kids love it! Being naturally sweet also means there is no added sugar. On average, most American kids eat more sugar than they should, which can lead to health problems over time.
2. Choose yogurt over pudding
Flavored yogurt cups may have just as much sugar as pudding, but they have something shelf-stable pudding cups don’t…. probiotics. These good bacteria help your gut stay healthy and may support a healthy immune system. Vanilla yogurt cups are a great switcheroo for vanilla pudding cups. You can even check the labels to find one with less sugar. Just remember the ice pack!
3. Crunch on carrots
With smooth, creamy yogurt and sweet, crisp fruit providing two different textures in your child’s lunchbox, try adding crunchy carrots and celery to crunch instead of veggie chips. You can even pack them alongside your regular crunchy, salty snack like chips or pretzels. Just serve a few less chips while you add carrots and celery to the lunchbox. Healthy foods for kids don’t have to be boring, try a variety of dips like guacamole, hummus, or yogurt-based ranch dips!
4. Make muffins instead of packaged snack cakes
Healthy kids’ snacks can be hard to find. They are often filled with sugar, added fat, and added salt. Packaged snack cakes are high in all three! Try baking a batch of mini muffins or regular muffins, freezing them, and pulling them out one at a time, when you need to put one in a lunch or for after-school snacks. Muffins can be lower in sugar than cakes. Plus, if you’re making them at home you can control what goes in the batter, like adding fruits or vegetables for a nutrient boost. Tight on time and can’t make muffins this week? Yumble’s Snack Poppers have you covered. They are packed with protein and fiber. Sweet and poppable, kids gobble them up!
5. Swap your sips
Ditching sugary drinks like soda or flavored juice drinks can reduce the amount of added sugar your child consumes. Too much sugar from fruit flavored drinks, soda, and even fruit juice, can lead to weight gain and cavities. Try drinking plain milk or your favorite unsweetened non-dairy beverage. When packing lunches, try packing water infused with whole frozen fruit, herbal tea bags, or a splash of juice.
6. DIY your lunchbox
Sure, it’s quick to get a pre-made kiddie charcuterie board with lunchmeat, crackers, and cheese but it’s also loaded with salt, fat, and preservatives. Try a bento box with your child if snacking is their style. Fill each compartment with things they like, such as whole grain crackers, a few slices of cheese, sliced chicken breast (instead of sodium rich lunchmeats), and fresh fruit instead of a packaged sweet. Prepping the ingredients by cooking and cutting chicken breast, cutting veggies, and baking muffins, can go a long way to save time and make a healthier kids meal.
If you’re short on time, you still don’t need to reach for that convenience store lunch pack. Yumble has you covered with healthier alternatives to kids' meals that are ready when you are. Packed with hidden veggies and whole grains, they are filled with flavors kids love and are sure to eat. A handheld pizza pocket and broccoli is slam dunk for lunch! A kids meal delivery service, Yumble Kids provides variety, convenience, and nutritious meals made just for kids. The best part? The meals are full of healthy ingredients you feel good about!
Looking for an easy way to get healthier lunches ready during the week? Yumble is the children’s healthy meal planner that does the hard work for you. We deliver fresh, delicious, fully prepared kids’ meals right to your door. Pick a plan that works best for your family, choose your weekly meals, and Yumble takes care of the rest. No cooking required! Ready to save time & serve nutritious meals?