Here are a few basic recommendations:
- Portions - There are so many great containers out there that offer 3 compartments for food portions.
- Variety - These same portion containers allow for variety in your child's meal. Mixing up a fruit, vegtable, protien, dairy and/or carbs provides healthy variety.
- Nutrition - Most kids like to see a sweet treat in their lunches but be sure to balance that with some more nutritional options too. If you do provide a dessert, then there should be a solid main dish and side along with it.
Once you have the basics down it's finding ways to mix things up. Sandwiches seem to be a staple in most school lunches. They are great but you can even play with those, make a wrap using a tortilla or take away the carb element all together and just wrap meat and cheese in a roll up. Fruits and veggies cleaned and cut up should be a staple in every lunch. My kids enjoy dipping their veggies in ranch so if you need to add a dip for them to eat their veggies, then go for it! Pretzels, goldfish, veggie chips, pita chips are a few of the alternatives to potato chips.
For other fun ideas check out these helpful articles:
30 Ideas for School Lunches - http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipes/healthy/ideas-kids-school-lunches
40 Healthy School Lunch Recipes to Make for Your Kids - http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/40-healthy-school-lunch-recipes-make-for-your-kids.htm
Healthy School Lunch Ideas for Kids - http://www.healthychild.com/healthy-school-lunch-ideas-for-kids