With the new year comes new lunchbox challenges. During the school year families sometimes find themselves in a lunchbox rut, making yet another PB&J. It takes time to research creative lunch ideas and ways to make sure our kids are eating enough fruits and veggies.
Produce for Kids has done the work for you! Time to get re-inspired in the new year with the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge. Visit poweryourlunchbox.com to take the pledge with your family to eat a healthier lunch, then grab healthy, kid-friendly lunchbox ideas, coupons and more. For every pledge taken, $1 will be donated to Feeding America and supplying 11 meals to families in need.
These are some of our favorite ways to add more fruits and veggies to the lunchbox:
- Add chopped veggies to soups or chili – Any veggie, like sweet onions, bell peppers, celery, tomatoes and corn, are great additions to soup or chili recipes. And you can always add more than the recipe requires. This Alphabet Vegetable Soup or Turkey & Kale Chili are both tasty options for a thermos in the lunchbox.
- Sauce it up – Finely chop sweet onions, peppers, carrots, mushrooms or spinach and add to pasta sauce. Serve over your favorite pasta or veggie noodles in a thermos for a delicious lunch.
- Switch up regular PB&J – Instead of jelly, use fresh fruit in your PB&J, like these PB Fruit Roll-ups! Sliced bananas, strawberries, kiwi or grapes make perfect jelly substitutes.
- Turn it into a kebob – Turn regular sandwiches into these fun Sandwich Skewers and add your kid’s favorites, like cherry tomatoes, lettuce or cucumbers.
- Blend into baked goods – Both fruit and veggies can easily be blended into muffins or other baked goods for an extra dose of nutrition. These Apple Zucchini Mini Muffins will be a hit in lunchboxes.
- Swap out mayo – Skip the mayo on sandwiches and use mashed avocado instead. Or swap out mayo in egg, chicken or tuna salad for avocado, like in this Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich.
- Rethink Pasta & Rice – Spiralized veggies, like this Caprese Zoodle Salad, or cauliflower rice are great alternatives to pastas and rice and a great way to sneak in some extra veggies.
- Stuff ‘em – Handheld dishes, like these Lunchbox Empanadas or Freezable Pizza Pockets are not only easy to eat, but easy to add fruits and veggies to.
- Use a muffin tin – There’s something about food in the shape of a muffin that kids love. Break out the muffin tin and get your kids in the kitchen to help prepare these Savory Chicken & Rice Muffins, Mac n Cheese Muffins or Wonton Taco Cups, all made with veggies!
- Flavor your own yogurt – Most flavored yogurts come with added sugars. Make your own by mixing plain yogurt and your favorite fruit (adding a touch of honey if needed), like this Coconut Orange Dream.