Tired of seeing apples coming back in your child’s lunch kit with only a bite taken out of them? Or sending the same banana back and forth until it is too brown to even use in banana bread? The reality is that the majority of parents limit the fruit they pack in their kid’s lunches to the traditional apples, oranges and bananas, when there is actually a whole wide variety of fruit options that increase the likelihood it will actually get eaten 😉
And don’t just think about those little single serving sized fruit cups (which also relates to our weekly grocery shopping challenge this week – Don’t Buy Single Serving Packaged Food). Buy a large jar or can of it, and divide it into single serving sizes yourself. Don’t have enough plastic containers? Carefully divide into plastic bags, then store the plastic bags in a larger container in your fridge to avoid an accidental leak making a mess of your fridge, and then simply put the contents of each one into a plastic container when ready to put one into the lunch.
And if you are worried about the added sugar content of canned or jarred fruit, look for ones packed in water or juice, and avoid the ones that say packed in syrup.
Many kids also loved dried fruit. And if your local grocery store doesn’t carry much beyond raisins and cranberries, your local health food store will have a huge selection of just about any kind of dried fruit.
So here are some other fruit ideas for lunches that ago above and beyond the traditional tried and true:
- Mandarin orange slices
- Whole mandarins / clementines (a real treat in the spring & summer!)
- Kiwi fruit
- Star fruit
Don’t forget you can change the fruit experience by freezing them and packing with an ice pack, as they will likely stay mostly frozen by lunchtime. One of my favorites is frozen grapes!
And adding a low fat yogurt dip can make the fruit an extra treat, and even make some kids feel more like it is a desert! But avoid caramel dip, or make it an infrequent treat, since it is high in sugar and calories.
You can also put fruit on plastic skewers to mix up the presentation if your child is old enough.
What other ways do you fruit in your child’s lunch?