Heading back to school means more than just a collection of new notebooks and a refreshed commitment to learning. It's also the perfect time to give the quintessential school lunch a healthy, fun upgrade. But, while packing daily lunches for kids is a challenge bemoaned by parents everywhere – not because it's so difficult, but because getting the nutrition your child needs in a format they'll enjoy is not always the easiest task – encouraging your child to eat well doesn’t have to be so complex. Instead of giving the school lunch a complete overhaul, you can keep the food structures your child enjoys the same (such as sandwiches), while introducing some super ingredient swaps along the way to enhance their nutrient capacity. Easy for you and enjoyable for them, these “super swaps” are a win-win. Here are a few of our favorites:
Boost the Juice
If there were a lunch-drink hierarchy, water would be at the top, followed by real fruit juice, ending with soda at the bottom. For many children, plain water is a little too uneventful, but juice is always gratifying. An excellent way to make juice more convincing to you as well is to add a Daily Superfood Boost into the mix, ensuring there's bonus fiber and immune-boosting vitamins to help round out the nutrition. If your child is more of the chocolate milk-type, try one of our favorite super swaps: a thermos filled with unsweetened almond milk mixed with Navitas Organics Cacao & Greens Essential Superfood Blend for a low-sugar, protein-rich, superfood-packed drink that's unbeatably delicious!
Introduce the Rainbow
When incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into school lunches, don’t think you have to stick to a boring apple or some carrot sticks. Many children appreciate a spectrum of color waiting for them in their lunchbox and will be more apt to eat something that looks “fun” versus one type of produce. Fruit salads are an excellent way to go, which can be made on the weekend and enjoyed all week for ease. Include colorful items like blueberries, strawberries, oranges, pineapple chunks and even cut cucumber for a little (mild) vegetable addition. Similarly, make cut vegetables fun, too, by including a medley of things like bell pepper sticks, broccoli, colored cauliflower or rainbow carrots. Teaching children that produce can be just as magical as their colorful toys is a great way to keep healthy eating something to which they can look forward.
Children need healthy snacks to fuel them throughout the day and they love bags of munchies like cereal or trail mix to peck away at mid-morning or in the early afternoon hours. If your child already has a favorite mix, there's no need to rock the boat too much with a complete overhaul, but you can certainly add in superfoods to enhance the overhaul nutrition. You can give savory mixes protein-rich upgrades with healthy nuts and seeds, and enhance sweet trail mixes with a handful of Goji Berries or Mulberries thrown in for bonus vitamins and antioxidants.
Turn Snack Bars into Dessert
I don't need to tell you that children love having a sweet treat stashed away in their lunch bag. But, instead of packaged cookies or a candy bar, try a Superfood Snack Bar instead. Each of the four Navitas varieties include minimally processed superfood ingredients like Chia, quinoa and Acai in a low-sugar organic base that includes several kinds of mineral-rich nuts. The result is a bar that tastes like a treat but acts like a vitamin and is definitely kid- (and grown-up) approved!
Keep an eye on our Instagram page for more Super Swap ideas and share yours on social using #SuperSwap!