What’s the trick to packing a healthy lunchbox when you’re too busy to make everything from scratch?
In an ideal world, we’d avoid packaged foods in the lunchbox. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a world where many parents have to work, and the ones that don’t often lack the support they need from family and friends. There simply isn’t enough time for most parents to make everything from scratch. Believe me, I get it.
I want to share with you the four rules I follow to keep my kids’ lunchboxes fairly healthy, especially when I’m too busy to make all of the food going into them.
Follow these four simple rules for healthier lunchboxes.
1. Go basic
Choose foods as close to their natural state as possible. If it’s had to go through so much processing you’re unsure how you’d replicate it at home, give it a miss.
2. The 7% rule
Check the nutrition panel on the foods you buy and make sure sugars are under 7%. That is, you want less than 7g of sugar per 100g.
3. Look for items that you can complement with fresh food
A quality corn chip goes well with avocado, a low-sugar tomato salsa is great for sipping veggie sticks in, and rice cakes are the perfect base for a pile of protein, salad veggies and good fats (and a much healthier alternative to bread too!)
4. Have a list
I don’t mean a grocery list. I mean an easy reference list of items you’ve previously found to be suitable. Even better if your kids have already tried them and given them the thumbs up! Pin it to your fridge or keep it in your wallet so you don’t get stuck wondering what to buy.
What foods did you pack for school lunches today that match this criteria? Is there anything you’d add to this list?