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. Check out four irresistible swaps you can make below.
1. 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 little bit of one of Navitas Organics' Superfood+ Blends into the mix, ensuring there's bonus plant-based nutrients 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 Blend for a low-sugar, protein-rich, superfood-packed drink that's unbeatably delicious!
2. 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.
3. Mix Wisely
Children need healthy snacks to fuel them throughout the day to keep their energy levels up and their brains functioning properly! That's where trail mix comes in handy (especially the homemade variety). 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 nutrition. You can give your savory trail mixes protein-rich upgrades with cashews and hemp seeds, and enhance sweet mixes with a handful of goji berries or mulberries for bonus vitamins and antioxidants.
4. Turn Power Snacks into Dessert
I don't need to tell you that children love having a sweet treat stashed away in their backpack or lunchbox—but instead of packaged cookies or candy bars, opt for Navitas Organics Power Snacks. Each variety of these delicious grab-and-go energy bites are made of dates, nuts, seeds and superfoods, and are free of gluten, dairy or artificial ingredients. If you want to be the real hero parent, choose the Chocolate Cacao Power Snacks for an extra special decadent-tasting, double chocolate treat (you'll thank me later!).
Keep an eye on our Instagram page for more Super Swap ideas and share yours on social using #SuperSwap!