Thursday,19 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1362, (28 September - 4 October 2017)
Thursday,19 October, 2017
Issue 1362, (28 September - 4 October 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Packing healthy lunch boxes

Let’s talk about better living! Our interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

Packing healthy lunch boxes
Packing healthy lunch boxes

It’s back-to-school season, a time when many families are anxious not only about academics and their children’s peer interactions, but also about their lunches.

With the increasing numbers of parents who are moving towards a whole-food plant-based diet for their children, one concern is how to figure out what to pack for their kids’ school lunches to keep them well-nourished during a long school day.

A main point of plant-based eating is to be healthier, but unfortunately there are many vegan food options out there that promise convenience, but are high in salt and sugar or low in nutrients. As a result, there is a need for care in preparing children’s meals. Sticking to whole foods from the main food groups can help a child get the necessary energy and nutrients he or she needs to have a successful school year. And don’t forget a water bottle.

It’s important to avoid the habit of making everything the same morning, especially if you have many children or have to get to work on time. Things like dried fruit, seeds, bars, biscuits and muffins can all be prepared in batches ahead of time and stored or frozen, so all you have to do is grab them in the morning. The same goes for pasta dishes and rice bowls. Help your kids to make healthy choices on their own by letting them help plan and put together their own lunch boxes.

To help your kids enjoy plant-based eating, you should change the mix every day, or at least swap a few options, so they don’t get tired of their lunches. Here are some good ideas for a healthy plant-based lunch box that you can prepare for your children:

 

-      Fresh veggie and hummus whole-wheat sandwiches, wraps or pita bread with grapes & seeds and an energy bar;

-      Vegan cheese or veggie quesadillas with fresh fruit and celery logs with sunflower seed butter and raisins;

-      Apple and nut butter sandwiches with roasted chickpeas and crackers & cheese;

-      Cherry tomato, cheese, black olive and tortilla bits on a stick with dried fruit, grapes and sunflower seeds;

-      Cold baked potato or sweet potato chunks with ketchup or barbecue sauce for dipping and sliced chunks of mango or melon;

-      Quinoa or rice bowl with black beans, fresh fruit and muffin;

-      Pasta salad with veggies, chickpeas and black olives, strawberries and baby carrot sticks;

-      Veggie burger with dried fruit or seeds and a healthy cookie;

-      Cold cooked corn on the cob cut into thirds with cashews or almonds and dates.

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