It’s that time of year when kids go back to school and adults get back to routine. Part of this pivotal period involves the tedious task of school lunch prep and we are well aware of how stressful that can be, especially trying to balance the age-old battle of convenience vs. nutrition.
The feeling of self-conscious comparison is at an all time high for parents as picture perfect lunches flood the internet and picky eaters make lunch packing a challenge. During this busy time of year, it's important to keep one thing in mind - it’s not about being perfect, it’s just about taking simple steps to help make everyday tasks a little bit easier. Let's start by taking the stress out of packing a balanced lunch!
The Perfect Formula
To take the guesswork and pressure out of what to pack for lunch, Egglife has teamed up with Registered Dietitian, Melissa Rifkin, MS, RD, CDN, to come up with the perfect formula for packing a lunch that provides simple, delicious nutrition, without the stress. Melissa explains that a balanced lunch includes the following components:
- Protein is the most filling nutrient. It also provides the building blocks for nearly all tissue within the body. Getting adequate protein can keep you fuller longer and keeps energy levels stable as it slows the release of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. While many protein sources require time and preparation, egglife wraps are a versatile and convenient protein option.
- Fruit is known for its vitamin, mineral, antioxidant, and fiber content. It is also a natural source of carbohydrates. Packing a fruit in your child’s lunch allows them to get important nutrients from this naturally sweet food.
- Vegetables contain fiber and loads of micronutrients. Also, veggies are generally low in carbohydrate content. Including veggies at meals adds color, nutrients, and another texture for kids to explore.
- Whole grains, like brown rice or oatmeal, come in many shapes and forms, and are essential for a balanced meal. These quality carbohydrates provide fiber and a variety of B vitamins to lunchtime.
- Treat - a nice way to round out the meal when all of the essential meal components are present.
“Giving our kids a variety of foods provides a wealth of valuable nutrients, like energy from carbohydrates and satiety from protein,” Melissa explains. “While missing out on one of these key nutrients may not seem significant, the long term effects can be, especially in our growing and developing children. By incorporating a mix of nutrients, we ensure nutritional demands are met, as well as micronutrients, vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables which play a critical role in the body.”
Turn Dull Into Delicious
To find out more about the time and energy that goes into packing school lunches, Egglife recently conducted a survey of parents with school age children. We found that 4 in 10 parents agreed that packing school lunches feels overwhelming at times with slightly more (40.5%) feeling defeated when kids don’t eat portions of the lunches. In the age of social media, more than half admitted to feeling pressure to be creative when packing lunch.
Melissa shares, “Packing lunches can get monotonous and many parents rely on traditional sandwiches as their go-to lunch meals, especially for kids. I love using egglife egg white wraps to add versatility and protein to my kids’ lunches to help them stay full and active throughout the day, without creating more work.”
Keeping the perfect lunch formula in mind, here are a few recipe examples, sure to be lunchtime favorites for both kids and adults:
- Turkey Cucumber egglife Wrap
- Nut Butter & Jelly egglife Wrap
- Ham & Cheddar egglife Pinwheels
Life is messy, but egglife is here to make your life just a little bit easier. For more recipes, visit www.egglifefoods.com/recipes-hub.