Does your child love traditional lunch dishes like bologna sandwiches with a side of chips? Or maybe he’s a fan of grilled cheese sandwiches and a can of Spaghetti Os® and enjoys a few cookies for dessert. Not all of these traditional lunch dishes are especially healthy for your child, but with a few changes and substitutions you can create healthier options for traditional lunch items such as these.
Instead of a bologna, or even worse, fried bologna sandwich with mayonnaise, fix a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and a little mustard for a much healthier version. If your child really loves bologna sandwiches, pick up a turkey version instead or splurge on the original one occasionally, substituting lean sandwich meats like turkey or chicken the rest of the time.
Potato chips have quite a few calories and a lot of fat, not to mention they are covered in salt which makes them a rather unhealthy side dish for lunch. In place of unhealthy chips, pack pretzels or baked tortilla chips in your child’s lunch. Now, there are also “baked” options for many of your kids’ favorite brand-name chips. At home, you can also prepare raw veggies and dip. You could also replace them with a pasta salad dressed with a bit of light Italian dressing and plenty of veggies tossed in. Pita or bagel chips are another option that’s healthier than traditional potato chips. Mix things up by providing different dips to go along with these healthy alternatives. Bean dips, salsa and hummus are all great options as well.
If you are preparing a warm lunch for your child at home, don’t just open a can of Spaghetti Os® or ravioli. Instead boil up some whole wheat angel hair pasta and topped with tomato sauce for a healthier option with a lot less salt. Keep cooked ground turkey in the fridge and add it for an even more filling lunch.
Instead of a grilled cheese sandwich that’s made with processed cheese and fried in butter, prepare some cheese toast instead. (Just cut up some cheese, set it on pieces of bread, and toast it in the toaster oven or in the broiler.) Add some lean ham or turkey to add healthy flavor. For another healthy version of the usual grilled cheese sandwich, use whole wheat bread, slices of cheddar cheese and cook the sandwich with cooking spray.
Take a look at what you and your kids are drinking with lunch as well. Sodas and soft drinks are obviously not the healthiest options, but pay attention to how much juice your child drinks as well. A glass of orange juice a day is fine, drinking it by the gallon isn’t. Dilute fruit juices with water and offer your child plenty of plain water with a little ice or lemon throughout the day. Don’t forget cold herbal teas, as these are another great drink choice.
Need more encouragement? Need some practical how-to’s? Grab Cindy’s books and audios for HALF OFF! Just use the coupon code: ALLTHINGSNEW