Lunches and Dinners Ideas
by Melanie Waxman
most parents mornings are a rushed affair. Preparing a healthy
and tasty packed lunch that doesn't arrive at the end of
the day squashed at the bottom of a book bag is a daunting
With some careful planning, mornings can become a lot more
relaxed and parents can go to work knowing they have provided
a lunch that is satisfying and nourishing.
In many ways, younger children are easier to feed because
they are not so influenced by their friends. Feeding children
in higher grades is a challenge because they are very conscious
of how they appear to their peers.
Children want to fit in and munching into a rice ball and
broccoli doesn't quite do it. Many of their friends will
buy lunch or fill up on candy and chips. A parent's idea
of a great lunch might be quite different to their child's.
Often kids will only eat the snack, beg junk off friends
or hit the vending machines. Many kids in high school opt
to eat nothing at all.
It is important to listen and talk to your children about
healthy eating and not to be too strict. The key is to make
sure they are getting enough variety at home on a daily
When children have regular, balanced meals they can afford
to enjoy a more simple lunch and relish those special treats
now and again.
It is easier to provide a nourishing lunch when menus and
ideas are planned in advance. Try to have a large selection
of alternatives in your cupboards.
Make sure to check out your local health store, as some
products are not available in supermarkets.
are some ideas to help you create a great packed lunch.
that kids want something tasty that can be eaten quickly.
that parents want a meal that can be made quickly,
but is also nourishing and healthy.
lunches in advance.
The major problem with lunch boxes is that they get terribly
repetitive. If you are not o organized, you end
up stuffing the box with packets of crisps every
some things the night before so that mornings are
lunch ideas with your kids first.
Find out what sort of things they love and buy healthy
alternatives that they feel comfortable with.
at the whole day instead of just lunch.
Offer a nourishing breakfast. Make a big bowl of
vegetables when they come home from school. Provide a
variety of healthy dishes for dinner.
a grain, vegetable and fruit. Grains include breads
lunch include foods that are nutritious, fun and easy
children need a variety of healthy foods to provide
them with different nutrients for their growing
bodies. Leftovers from dinner are fine, if children enjoy
will stay fresher and taste better if they're individually
wrapped - waxed paper is easier for children
to unwrap than plastic wrap. Save plastic containers from
hummus or dips and re-use them for salads or cut
sure food stays fresh by using either a frozen drink
or frozen freezer pack, and an insulated lunch box.
Older children may prefer to take a brown paper bag and
frozen juice box to keep their lunch cool.
Use organic ingredients where possible.
This makes a huge difference to your child's health.
Organic food is especially important for children because
children face unique hazards from pesticide exposure.
Pound for pound, children eat more food, drink more water
and juices, and breathe more air than adults, and thus
they take in more pesticides relative to their body
Their developing organ systems make children more sensitive
than adults to exposure to toxic chemicals and less able
to detoxify the chemicals.
Make the lunch fun. Provide colorful toothpicks, bendy
straws, write a funny message or add stickers.
to the teacher and see if she can have a healthy fruit
and vegetable day each week where all the
kids bring in their favorites.
great ideas for healthy lunches and snacks
following fillings can be used between good quality bread,
preferably organic and sourdough, pita bread or tortilla
for those yummy wraps!
Remember to include a frozen fruit box to keep them chilled.
Hummus with finely chopped vegetables such as celery,
lettuce, cucumbers and grated carrot. Ready made falafel
can also be added.
2. Peanut butter and sauerkraut or peanut butter
and finely sliced dill pickles. You can also try almond
3. Peanut butter and jelly. Make sure both are
natural and additive and sugar free.
4. Veggie burger with sugar free ketchup, lettuce
5. Fried seitan sandwich with mustard and sauerkraut.
6. Fried tofu sandwich with mustard, tahini and
7. Fried tempeh with mustard and dill pickles.
8. Tuna mashed with tahini, olive oil, celery,
grated carrot, onion, shoyu, lemon.
9. Sardines mashed with tahini, olive oil, mustard,
grated carrot, celery, shoyu, lemon.
10. Fresh sweet corn, peas or other cooked vegetables
can be added to wraps or pita.
11. Scrambled tofu can be added to pita with shredded
lettuce and cucumber.
12. Tuna mixed with Mayonaise (soy based spread).
cous cous, noodle or brown rice salads with different
fried tempeh or tofu, toasted sesame seeds
and a light dressing.
Corn or rice cakes
Home made sugar free muffins such as corn, blueberry or
Carrot, celery and cucumber sticks with peanut butter
or brown rice
vinegar packed in a separate container.
Raw Salad with a dressing packed in a separate container.
Dressings such as tofu dip, balsamic, peanut butter and
umeboshi vinegar, lemon,
salt and olive oil or brown rice vinegar, shoyu,
orange juice and sesame oil.
Fresh Fruit salad from grapes, strawberries, orange, apple,
raspberries, blueberries, melon.
Watermelon cut into pieces.
Apple, whole or sliced (preserved in lemon juice and wrapped
in a unbleached
paper towel to prevent discoloration).
Applesauce in small containers.
Organic sugar free tinned peaches or other fruit.
Small boxes of raisins.
Organic Fruit leather - these can cause teeth problems
if eaten often but make
for a great treat.
Home made or sugar free cookies.
Home made Rice Crispy treats.
Roasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or nuts - Avoid
giving whole nuts to small children.
Cereals such as fruit juice flavored cornflakes.
Organic kettle chips are probably the best quality chips.
Fruit kanten poured into small containers and chilled.
Smoothies made from amasake, fruit juice and fresh fruit
Boxed rice milk can be used too.
Waxman began studying Oriental medicine in 1980
and went on to specialize in macrobiotic cooking. She has
lived in Portugal, England and America and has trained cooks
from all over the world. Melanie is the mother of seven
She has cooked for international recording stars, fashion
designers, doctors, and business professionals and has helped
thousands of others to change their lifestyle and way of
eating. She has written a children's cook book; Mr. Hoppity's
Color Me Cook book for Kids, a series of self-published
12 Cooklets and has recently published Bless the Baby, a
beautifully illustrated book on the natural and traditional
ways a mother can bond with her newborn.
Melanie is also a massage therapist and Feng Shui consultant.