April 20, 2024

Fuel Up for Lunch

By on September 22, 2021 0 507 Views

A new school year means new routines, and routines require embracing some positive habits. One of those new-school-year habits includes packing a nutritious and wholesome (and delicious!) lunch. A healthy lunch should not be underestimated – just look at the benefits:

  • Fuels your body for learning, living, and playing.
  • Improves your mood and helps you feel your best.
  • Reduces the risk of various diseases
  • Provides vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that your body needs. 
  • Increases energy.

APPLE Schools supports all schools in the Wood Buffalo region to facilitate change in students’ lifelong health behaviours. The initiative takes a comprehensive approach in targeting mental health, physical activity, and healthy eating using best-practice resources from experts. 

All three health pillars must be supported and work in conjunction with the others; and if the body isn’t receiving the required nutrition, it’s much harder to improve physical activity and mental health. 

Ensuring that children get a nourishing lunch that they actually enjoy each day doesn’t need to be complicated. With a few tweaks, the process should become smooth, habitual, and even enjoyable for you and the kids. 

Tips to pack a quick, tasty, and healthy lunch

  • Plan the week’s meals in advance so you know what to grab at the grocery store.
  • Make lunches in the evening for the next day so they are ready to go in the morning. 
  • Wash and peel enough vegetables for several days and store them in a container in the fridge.
  • Involve your children in planning and preparing the food, which gets them more excited about eating healthy and trying new meals.
  • Use a reusable water bottle, so they always have a drink at school. Throw in some fruit to jazz it up!
  • Try whole-grain breads, buns, pitas, tortillas, crackers with a variety of fillings.
  • Cut up sandwiches for young children – make triangles, strips, circles and other fun shapes!

Quick menu ideas

  • Tortilla rolled with shredded carrot and spinach, or with beans and cheese / banana / milk
  • Pita wedges / hummus and fresh veggies /yogurt / orange / water
  • Rice with veggies and tofu / yogurt / water
  • Oatmeal muffin / cheese / carrot sticks / apple / water
  • Pasta salad with veggies and cheese / blueberries / water
  • Chili with pita chips / fruit cup / water
  • Salad with tuna / crackers / pear / water

Adding a little intention into your meal planning can give your kids everything they need to feel fuelled up and energized to tackle each day!

Need more inspiration to promote healthy eating habits? Head to appleschools.ca and check out the many available monthly campaigns that support just that.

Connect with APPLE Schools on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Or, sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter for more tips and resources on staying healthy. 

Information for this blog has been taken from Canada’s Dietary Guidelines and Alberta Health Services’ Make a Change One Meal at a Time resource list. 


About the author

Communications Coordinator at Apple Schools | Website

APPLE Schools is the only school health promotion project in Alberta proven to change health outcomes in schools. The project works with vulnerable school communities to improve students’ healthy eating, physical activity, and mental health habits in a cost-effective manner. Each year, APPLE Schools improves the health of more than 20,000 students in 70 schools across northern Alberta, Northwest Territories and Manitoba.