Healthy Lunch Foods for Kids

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Once the wholesome, satisfying breakfast you feed your kids in the morning wears off, it's time for lunch. Whether you are packing their lunches during the school year or preparing weekend lunches, it's important to select healthy lunch foods that provide the nutrients your kids need to grow. Experiment with some celebrated kid favorites, while giving your kid an opportunity to explore some new flavors.

Once the wholesome, satisfying breakfast you feed your kids in the morning wears off, it's time for lunch. Whether you are packing their lunches during the school year or preparing weekend lunches, it's important to select healthy lunch foods that provide the nutrients your kids need to grow. Experiment with some celebrated kid favorites, while giving your kid an opportunity to explore some new flavors.

Creamy, Fruity Sandwich

Kids enjoy sandwiches that are easy to hold and can be customized to fit even the pickiest eater's taste buds. Traditional sandwiches with peanut butter and jelly or luncheon meat are kid classics, but you can add a twist to your child's sandwich routine by combing his favorite fruit with cream cheese. Eating Well suggests trying this recipe with strawberries, whole-wheat bread, honey and reduced-fat cream cheese. Combine the cream cheese and honey in a bowl with orange zest, spread the mixture on bread and then top each slice of bread with sliced strawberries, or your kid's favorite fruit.

Under the Sea Tuna Sub

Give your kids a protein-boost with light tuna, but don't just take it out of the can, place it on bread and send your child on his way. Give a normal tuna sandwich a makeover by adding veggies. The website for "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine suggests adding chopped carrots, red sweet pepper or celery to your child's tuna sandwich, which gives it an appealing color and flavor. Add dairy by sprinkling the sandwich with reduced-fat cheese. Rather than bread, try using a whole wheat hot dog roll or hamburger bun.

Colorful Pasta Salad

Pasta salads are simple to prepare and can include many of your child's favorites. Use whole-grain pasta noodles, available in a variety of fun shapes and colors. Start by adding fruits and vegetables, such as squash, broccoli, cucumbers, tomatoes and pepper. Add meats, such as tuna, grilled chicken or salami. Toss the pasta salad with a small amount of Italian salad dressing, oil or vinegar for added flavor, and then add a sprinkle of your child's favorite cheese.

Soup To Go

A hearty soup is a healthy lunch option for kids, whether they're at-home or in school. Keep soup warm by packing it in an insulated cup or lunch tote. For a crunchy, flavorful soup, try preparing chicken tortilla soup which combines boneless chicken, green chilies, garlic, onion, diced tomatoes, chicken broth, cumin, cilantro, shredded cheese and tortilla chips. Websites like Disney Family and Oprah offer easy-to-follow recipes.

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