The other day I was checking my Facebook statuses and there was a post from a friend asking what to pack her toddler for school lunch. The trick was it is a peanut free school, as most are, and it had to be cold.
I have two toddlers myself and am often baffled when it comes to meal time, especially lunch. My goal is always for quality over quantity but depending on the day, I never know what challenges may occur at mealtime.
The average toddler requires 16-24 grams of protein and approximately 1300 calories a day. Once your toddler turns three, calorie requirements can increase up to 1800 per day.
Here are some ideas on what to pack for your child/children:
Mini Bagel, Cream Cheese, and Jelly Sandwiches
Crackers (5) and Cheese (1.5 ounce)
Cottage Cheese Snack Packs
Veggies – ½ cup raw with 1 Tablespoon of ranch
Cold Cuts I slice and 1 Tablespoon of honey mustard for dipping
Fruit- ½ cup fresh
Milk is one of the best biological sources of protein and providing your child with 8 ounces at lunch provides about 90 calories and 8 grams of protein. Keep in mind you are not alone. This is a tricky age and it is normal for your toddler to be picky, especially regarding textures. Making it as fun as possible by providing dipping sauces, using your cookie cutters for cheese, and even buying yogurt with their favorite characters on it can help. I often roll up my children’s cold cuts with the string cheese with a little bowl to dip. Hey, whatever works?
Most likely your child is getting enough calories and protein to assist with growth. Play around with the amounts of items above to offer approximately 400 calories at lunch.
What do you do for your children? I’d love to hear your great ideas. Good luck and be well.