Planning school lunches can be difficult. You obviously want to include healthy foods and make sure your child gets enough to eat. This task can take on further difficulties when you are a Paleo parent. You want to keep your child engaged and this means making foods that are not plain and boring. You know that a healthy lunch should include Paleo-approved fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and since you won’t be packing any processed, preservative-pumped food, you have to take steps to keep the lunch from going bad.
It is possible to achieve all these tasks while still making a delicious meal your child will love to eat. There are a few simple steps you can take to pack a Paleo school lunchbox with foods that are actually going to be eaten rather than discarded. The first step is to get your child involved.
Ask for Input
Everyone loves to give their opinion, your child included. This means asking your kids what they want in their Paleo lunch boxes is the first step toward getting them to eat what you have prepared. Asking for help in the food selection, meal prep, and cooking processes will additionally boost your child’s self-esteem. They feel good about the fact that an adult is asking for their opinion. This can improve your relationship with your child.
Pack the Protein
Protein is an important part of eating the way that your Paleolithic ancestors ate. Protein should be included in every meal, as it is required by every cell in the human body. Additionally, protein is absorbed much more slowly than fats or carbohydrates. This means your child feels full longer, which could keep her from grabbing a non-Paleo-friendly snack like a bag of chips, an energy drink, or a soda pop at school.
Don’t Forget That Variety Is the Spice of Life
Some children don’t mind eating the same food over and over again. On the other hand, most kids want to open their lunchboxes and see something different from what they ate the day before and the day before that. This means keeping an open mind about what you are going to pack for lunch. Try to serve up different dishes each day. This can keep boredom from setting in during lunchtime, and boredom is a leading cause of people abandoning Paleo eating practices.
Let Your Children Pick the Fruits and Veggies They Are Going to Eat
Take your kids grocery shopping with you. Have them handpick the fruits and vegetables you will include in their lunches. This may seem like a simple thing to do, but it empowers your children. They are more likely to eat food they hand select.
Paleo-friendly food does not have the shelf life of its highly processed, preservative-filled counterparts. If your child raved about last night’s dinner and there are leftovers, serve them up for lunch. It can be difficult getting children to fall in love with every Paleo meal you fix, so once you find one that works, don’t be afraid to make that meal’s leftovers the centerpiece of your weekly school lunch plans. Also, remember that portability and shelf-life are important. The more portable and longer-lasting your child’s school lunches are, the better chance that they will be consumed.