Protein is an important food group for growing bodies. It helps with building muscle and repairing tissue, which is important for children when you think about how many falls they have throughout their childhood!
Protein is also:
- a great source of amino acids
- usually full of iron and b vitamins
- helps the body produce hemoglobin
- and supports the immune system when needed
The recommended dietary intake of protein for children between the ages of 4 and 8 is approximately 20g per day, yet many don’t get close to that.
Sometimes finding options that will keep well at school or that will suit a fussy eater – or both! – takes some trial and error, but it’s a useful food group in lunchboxes.
Children have a limited amount of food over a school day. It makes sense to ensure that a good amount of the food in their lunchboxes is going to keep them full and not cause a blood sugar spike. Fat is my go-to for this type of food, but protein is a close second, and a food group people tend to be more comfortable with.
I’ve put together this list of yummy protein-packed recipes perfect for your next kids lunchbox. Some of them might surprise you!
These muffins are SO DAMN GOOD. I’ve never had a complaint from my two kidlets about them, and they’re just as delicious for grown-ups!
So many paleo and gluten-free baking recipes use almond meal which rules them out for lunchboxes with most schools, but these ones use coconut flour. It’s my favourite gluten-free flour to bake with and I’ll tell you why.
Coconut flour is about as good as it gets. It’s high in fibre, protein and healthy fats, while being low carbohydrate, low calorie, low GI, and free from gluten, wheat, soy, legumes and nuts. Great for those with gut issues and diabetes, and great for little kidlets who need some extra nutrition in their lunchbox without the insulin spike you get from wheat flour. Sounds pretty good, right?
Its only downfall is that it’s super thirsty, which means you can’t substitute it 1:1 in recipes. If you’re wanting to give it a shot, look for recipes that specifically call for coconut flour… like this one!
The kids will love these healthier banana muffins made with no grains, gluten, dairy (if you choose), and no refined white sugar. YUM! The sweetness in these muffins comes from honey and banana – still sugars, so don’t go crazy with them now!