The quintessential lunch box meal! Every childhood memory includes this fan fav and so of course this has to show up on the daily rotation. Sandwiches allow for some variety as you can switch up the proteins that go inside the bread, the spreads and the veggies. I like to go with nitrate free deli meats and add organic cheese and some kind of raw crunchy vegetable. Skip the unhealthy chips as a side and go for a healthier crunchy replacement.
These days there are better chip alternatives, ones made with beans, whole grains, brown rice, seeds, etc. I also like to pack yogurts that have vegetables in them so they get an extra boost of veggies.
When I say homemade, I mean it’s not the ramen you buy from the packet. The ones from the packet are definitely not healthy. This however is a great Asian rendition of Chicken Noodle Soup. To make the flavors similar to Ramen broth, you can add seasonings such as dashi powder, soy sauce, or miso paste. These will instantly change the flavor profile of your chicken broth. I like to use buckwheat soba noodles, but any sort of dry noodles your kid likes, you can use, just cook until al dente.
Top the noodles with a protein your kid loves, leftover roasted chicken, leftover pot roast etc, and add some lightly blanched leafy greens, spinach, bok choy, kale or swiss chard is always great. Separate the noodles and toppings from the broth so the noodles don’t expand and absorb all the broth while it sits.
When your kid opens their lunch, they simply pour the broth over the noodles and toppings and enjoy! Another hot fancy meal your kid will be thrilled to show off to friends. And of course, covers the basic food groups.
Additional Tips to a Packed Lunch
- When choosing your starches, you can always go healthier. Opt for brown rice rather than white, always go for organic everything, try buckwheat noodles, or whole wheat bread for sandwiches.
- Amp up your meal with nutrients by using healthy oils or seeds, like avocado oil, grapeseed oil, chia seeds, or flax seeds.
- The biggest key takeaway on packing lunches is to make sure your kids eat a balanced diet. Include the major food groups in some sort of way and call it a day.
- And lastly, stay away from pre-packaged meals. Anything that is premade and sold frozen or shelf stable has additives in it, a long list of ingredients you can’t even read all the way through.
Try sticking with real foods you cook and prepare in your own kitchen as much as you can.
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.