Healthy lunches don’t have to be difficult. This is an idea I have come around to, but I’ve realized that it’s a matter of thinking ahead and giving your kids options that won’t bore them day in and day out.
Recently, I have been enamored with those moms who make the “bento” style lunches, so I went on the hunt for some of those little silicone cups…and did not find them in any store. And then, (lucky me) my neighbor had a big stack of these adorable little heart cups and she gave them to me because she didn’t want them.
Apparently their intended purpose – baking cupcakes – individual silicone cups don’t work so well, but for a bento lunch they are perfect. Especially for my oldest daughter who is not a fan of having any of her food touch.
So, in an effort to provide you (and myself) a set of go-to ideas, a “menu” if you will, of bento cups filled with healthy options, I decided to focus on that for this installment of Beyond Bologna.
Below you will find 15 different healthy options for small cups of healthy food. What I like about this is you can make a lunch from 3-6 of these depending on the appetite and age of your child. We’re trying out 6 cups today to see how much she eats. I’ve given my oldest daughter instructions to bring home what she doesn’t eat so I can get an idea of what she’s hungry for by the time her lunch rolls around. She is a big second grader after all, her appetite may have grown.
She decided to take with her the green beans, carrots, elbow macaroni, granola bar, graham cracker and grapes.
In a nation of obesity, this is a way to carefully watch portion sizes of each type of food you give your child while making a visually fun lunch for them that takes as much effort as throwing these items into a baggie BUT you get to be environmentally friendly with these reusable silicone cups.
Take your own set of cups and create a “menu” for your kids by taking a picture of a master set like you see below. Plan out their choices each week to get them involved. It will allow your kids some control over their lunch while still setting some boundaries for what they can have and how much. Plus, it’s fun!
2.) Dried Fruit (Bananas seen here)
3.) Cheese bites
4.) Chicken cuts
5.) Granola bar bites (perfect for the preschooler who can’t open their own wrappers yet.)
6.) Graham cracker bites
7.) Elbow macaroni
8.) Baby carrots
10.) Green beans
11.) Trail mix
12.) Cheese Crackers (these are Annie’s organic bunnies)
13.) Blackberries (blueberries, raspberries or strawberries would work)
14.) Apple bites
15.) Ham rolls
Don’t forget to come hang out at our twitter party on Thursday! 9:30EST! We’re giving away 3 – $25 Amex gift cards courtesy of our tasty sponsor – Muller yogurt
Other Beyond Bologna posts so far this week:
Tips for keeping lunches the right temperature from Sharon at Mom of 6
A Healthy Veggie Pizza for those kids in your house who love Red Bell Peppers on their pizza from Angie at Seven Clown Circus
Don’t forget to join us for our Twitter party on Thursday evening 9/6/12 at 9:30 EST where we’ll be talking all things healthy lunch and giving away three $25 Amex gift cards courtesy of our fabulous sponsor Muller Yogurt! RSVP HERE to join in!