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My oldest son just entered fifth grade and my youngest entered 4K. I will be preparing lunchboxes for many years to come, and it is extremely important for me to ensure these boys get the proper nutrition needed for successful learning, focus and exploration.

Many children lack the proper nutrients to keep their brain running sharp for the full duration of a standard school day. My goal is simple: feed their brain.

Many parents ask me what I feed my kids for lunch. We don’t do anything fancy or time consuming. I actually make lunches in the morning before school as I am way too tired to do it the night before. Here, I’ll  share a few of our go-to healthy choices and how I begin the basic process of building a lunchbox.

A lovable lunchbox

First, I choose the main ingredient: one serving of clean protein. Then I add two servings of vegetables, one serving of fruit and one serving of dairy.

Here is my blueprint for a healthy, tasty lunch based on a whole-grain wrap. To build it, layer the wrap in this order:

  • Start with a whole-grain wrap
  • Add any condiment your child likes, such as mustard, mayo or ketchup
  • Choose a protein of choice, such as chicken, turkey, ground beef, garbanzo beans or boiled eggs
  • Add cheese or avocado spread
  • Add veggies: carrot sticks, cucumber slices, red bell pepper — any or all as desired
  • Add pickles, fresh spinach or lettuce

Now, roll the wrap and cut in half. You’ll also want to include a serving of fruit:

  • Berries
  • Apple slices — we like to add cream cheese; spread it on two slices and put them together like a sandwich
  • Oranges
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Seasonal fruit

Additional ingredients you can include:

  • Hummus, salsa or guacamole with blue corn chips 
  • A green smoothie: use half a frozen banana, ½ cup frozen strawberries, ½ cup fresh spinach and 1 cup milk 
  • Greek yogurt with a bit of sweetener, or include blended, frozen berries
  • Roasted nut mix
  • Homemade popcorn

The bottom line

Get creative. If your child doesn’t enjoy vegetables, begin slowly adding them to her lunchbox in fun ways.

Talk to Tracy

Tracy Friedlob is the mom of two young boys and blogs at www.megahealthymama.com.

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