When getting ready to send your young child to preschool, you may be wondering about what she will eat during the day. If you will be sending food along with your child, you’ll want ideas for healthy preschool lunches that don’t take too much time out of your busy schedule.
Here are five quick and easy preschool lunches that deliver the nutrition your child needs for a day of play and learning.
English Muffin Pizzas
These kid-sized “pizzas” are easy and fun to eat. The night before, slice an English muffin and top each slice with marinara or pizza sauce, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 400° oven or toaster oven until the cheese is melted. In the morning, add one pizza to the lunchbox along with some fruit or veggie slices.
This tasty lunch has a Mexican flavour kids love. On a small whole-wheat tortilla, spread a thin layer of refried beans. Add a bit of salsa, shredded lettuce, and diced tomato. Wrap it up, and cut in half. Hold together with toothpicks. Send along with some cut veggies or fruit.
Healthy Finger Foods
If you have a lunch container with several compartments, you can assemble a complete meal that your child can have fun with. Some suggestions include: cubed cheese, pieces of leftover turkey, cut-up hot dogs, grapes, baby carrots, apple chunks, animal crackers, and pita chips. Include a healthy dip for veggies, such as hummus.
If your child’s preschool has a microwave, you can send along some pasta to be reheated at the appropriate time. Some kid-friendly options you can make the night before include: mac and cheese, penne with marinara sauce and meatballs, or bowtie pasta lightly tossed in butter, with peas and cherry tomatoes. Add your child’s favorite veggies such as steamed broccoli, or carrots and dip on the side.
Last Night’s Leftovers
Using leftovers from dinner the night before is a great way to introduce some variety into your child’s preschool lunches, and can help you get creative. You can repurpose the entire meal, such as a stir-fry, or use just one component. For example, your leftover roast chicken can become part of a wrap: take a small whole-wheat tortilla spread with hummus, add chicken pieces and shredded lettuce or sliced cucumber. Wrap it up, and cut in half. Hold together with toothpicks.
Giving your preschooler a healthy and fun lunch doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. Our five ideas for quick and healthy preschool lunches will help your preschooler get the nutrition and energy he needs for his day.