5 Amazing Ways to Get Veggies Into School Lunches

August 05, 2019

5 Amazing Ways to Get Veggies Into School Lunches

The healthy lunches I used to pack my kids ended up tossed because my kids didn’t want to eat them… and none of their friends wanted to trade. At the lunch table, sweets and salty snacks command the highest value! Apples? Not so much.

I've developed a host of kid-friendly ideas to incorporate veggies into lunchboxes... veggies that will actually get eaten! And primarily by your own child. Win. Win!

Have you ever used a bento box? These cute kid lunchboxes are based on Japanese bento boxes. There’s a cube for every part of the meal! These are perfect for packing small portions of lots of different options.

1. First up? Transforming the sandwich.

My son Christian ate a plain turkey sandwich every single day of his school career. Bread. Turkey. Mayo.

  • It’s easy to swap out the mayo and use a mashed up avocado instead. Avocados are high in good fat. They’re filling and oh so delicious!
  • Use spinach leaves instead of lettuce to add some folic acid to your kid’s diet. Dark leafy greens are more nutritionally dense than the lighter ones (think spinach vs. lettuce)!
  • Shred carrots and add on top of the layer of spinach on your next sandwich!
2. Next? Doctor up soups and pasta!

 

I send a thermos in my daughter’s lunchbox every day. She likes pasta at lunchtime. It’s pretty easy to add veggies to the sauce and to the noodles, too.

Pasta

  • Marinara sauce with added veggies. I add pouches of veggies (sweet potato or squash) to the marinara sauce. The puréed veggies blend in – no visible chunks or pieces.
  • When I make meatballs, I’ll also add some puréed veggies into the meat mixture.
  • And imagine serving this over zucchini noodles or sweet potato noodles!

Soups

  • I wonder if your child would eat a butternut squash soup? Or carrot soup? Or broccoli cheese soup? They’re all delicious, with no funky textures and warming on a cool day.
3. Make veggie snacks fun

 

These ideas are healthier than the junk food you find in so many lunchboxes! And they still are fun to eat, visually attractive and satisfying.

Dips and dippers are kid pleasing. The kids get to play with their food. And interacting with their veggies is a great way to get them desensitized to eating veggies. 

The best dips for school lunches are:

  • Guacamole
  • Hummus (you can buy hummus in all kinds of flavors – with added red pepper or sweet potato)
  • Baba Ganoush (make your own or buy it ready made)
  • Salsa!

 And there is such a wide variety of dippers!

  • Jicama chips
  • Crinkle cut carrots
  • Sugar snap peas
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Sweet potato chips or chips from other root veggies
  • Mini sweet peppers (I absolutely love these!)

4. Try new sides!

I cannot imagine any of my kids eating a green salad for lunch. If yours does, my hat is off to you!!! There are other salad ideas, though, that will do the trick.

  • Pasta salad with veggies. Or even a zucchini noodle salad.
  • Frozen peas or frozen corn. Seriously, all you have to do is take it out of the fridge, portion it out, and place in the lunchbox still frozen. By lunchtime, the veggies will have thawed. Easy peasy!

5. New main courses!

I’ve been experimenting with three new veggie-heavy main courses in the lunchbox:

  • Quiche or frittata. Make up an egg dish with veggies mixed in. Cut into kid-sized portions and add to the lunchbox!
  • This is made from chickpeas. Again, easy.
  • Summer rolls. You can roll all kinds of veggies in rice paper: shredded or julienned carrots, spinach, and avocado. Send along some sweet chili dipping sauce for a refreshing and nutritious lunch.

And instead of a cookie, try out a pack of Farm&Oven bakery bites! Our Zucchini Lemon Poppy Seed bakery bites have 2 servings of non-GMO zucchini and carrots. Depending on your kid’s age, this can be up to 100% of their daily veggies. Click here to order.

Who can say no to veggies that taste like cake? They’re sure to get eaten.

Money back guarantee.





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