School mornings are always a challenge.  There are so many things to do to get the kids up and out the door, not to mention getting yourself ready as well!  Even though you might need to rush sometimes, you still want to make sure that your children are well taken care of and well fed.  Packing a healthy lunch is a great place to start, but it can sometimes be difficult to find the time to get it done right.  Here are some helpful hints so you can keep lunches easy, quick and healthy!

Keeping it Cold
An insulated lunchbox will only go so far to keep your child’s turkey or egg salad sandwich cool.  Buy inexpensive, hard plastic cooler bricks that are dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.  When there isn’t enough room, use the food itself instead!  Freeze a tube of yogurt for a healthy snack that also serves as a cold pack.  Pouch drinks or a partially full water bottle can also be easily frozen the night before and will thaw out by midday.

Easy Sides
The easiest side item is also the healthiest:  fruit!  Apples, oranges, and bananas come with their own packaging and provide essential vitamins.  Other simple snacks to consider are small boxes of raisins and bags of baby carrots.

Easy Planning
Most schools coordinate sub days or pizza lunches and promote them on the school calendars each semester. Have each child put their initial on all the days they want to eat school lunches, so you won’t have to ask on a busy morning.

Making it Their Own
Involve your child in planning out her meals and deciding what she wants to have in them.  Most kids will enjoy having a say in what goes in their lunchboxes in the morning, and it will also prepare them for making their own lunches someday.  It’s a great lesson in nutrition and responsibility!

Sometimes it might seem a bit overwhelming to put together a healthy lunch while still getting out the door on time.  Packing their lunches the night before would certainly assist greatly! Regardless of when you pack, there is no reason to feel guilty about a fast lunch when it includes fruits and vegetables and double-duty foods that keep it all fresh.  Get together with your kids to plan out a meal schedule that suits their taste and your high standards. Bon appétit!

Here are some more great ideas to pack into your next school lunch.