Packing school lunches for little, sometimes fussy eaters can have you asking, “what do I make for lunch?” When packing a lunch box for your little one in nursery school, the goal is to provide a well-balanced, nutritious, and yummy meal! Here are some great ideas to help make lunchtime a fun and enjoyable experience for your child.
- Sandwiches are a classic lunch box staple. You can make them as simple or as creative as you like. Some ideas include peanut butter and jam (a favourite), stringy cheese, or avo and cucumber. Make sure to use whole wheat bread for added fibre. Get some great sandwich cutters like stars or dinosaurs. These are always greeted by delighted smiles.
- Wraps are a great sandwich alternative and are perfect for children who love to eat with their hands – most children do. You can fill them with various ingredients like chicken, cheese, and vegetables and even give them a light toast before popping them into their lunchboxes.
- Pasta salads: Pasta salads are a great way to add variety to your child’s lunch box. You can make them with various pasta shapes and add chopped ham or bacon with bits of cucumber and cheese or veggies.
- Fresh fruit is a great way to add that often-craved sweetness. We’re spoiled for choice in South Africa. For tony tots, ensure all pieces are chopped up small enough to chew and swallow easily. For a fun twist, make fruit skewers.
Yoghurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium. You can choose plain yoghurt or add some fruit or honey to sweeten it. A delicious alternative is to make yoghurt parfaits by layering yoghurt, granola, and fruit in a mason jar.
- Like yoghurt, cheese is another fantastic source of calcium and protein. You can pack a few slices of cheese or cut it into small cubes and include them in a lunch box.
- Fresh vegetables are a great way to add fibre and vitamins to your child’s lunch box. Some ideas include carrot sticks, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes, and sweet pepper strips.
- Every little person appreciates a quick snack they can grab with their tiny fingers. You can include a small bag of pretzels, crackers, or yoghurt-covered mini-bites. You can also pack a small container of hummus or peanut butter for dipping.
- Pack leftovers, such as a small container of soup or pasta, if the school allows teachers to assist in heating the food.
- Include a healthy drink in your child’s lunch box, like water, diluted fruit juice or milk.
Ensure you always make the nursery school aware of allergies ahead of time, especially if the school provides lunch.
Consult your healthcare practitioner if you’re unsure about certain foods. Your little ones have smaller stomachs, so it’s best to pack smaller portions. Children can be fussy, so include them in the lunch packing the night before. This will make them more excited about the food and more likely to eat it.