Healthy Meal Planning
for Picky Eaters + Busy Nannies
We’ve been in the midst of the school season for a few months now, and the nanny kids are probably starting to complain about the repetitive, sandwich-centric lunches. As a nanny or private educator, you want to support the development and growth of your charges beyond their scholastic endeavors. Here a few easy to prepare, healthful, and kid-approved lunch ideas that you’ll love!
They’re kid favorites for a reason — and contrary to our adult biases, they don’t need to be piping hot to be delicious. Cheese + tortilla = tasty, no matter the temp.
Get a recipe: How To Make the Best Cheesy Quesadillas, The Avodilla
Pack with: Avocado slices or guacamole, plus pineapple chunks, pumpkin seeds, tortilla chips, and jicama sticks. Jicama is actually packed with lots of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folate, Vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper + iron.
Rice paper wrappers or large lettuce leaves make great rolled-up meals that are fun to eat. Fill them with tofu, pork, or shrimp; try rainbow rolls; or let your nanny kids branch out using their own ideas!
Get a recipe: Rainbow Vegetable Spring Rolls
Pack with: Cubed meat or cheese, sliced red bell peppers (which are full of Vitamin C, several phytochemicals + carotenoids including beta-carotene), plus blueberries and a chocolate square.
Cold Noodle Salads
Think soba noodles with black sesame seeds, or even just plain udon.
Get a recipe: Soba Noodles with Wilted Bok Choy, Miso-Roasted Asparagus Soba Noodle Salad, Greek Chicken Pasta with Olives and Feta.
Pack with: Cubed chicken or tinned fish, snap peas, clementines (rich in a variety of vital nutrients and minerals like Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, potassium + phosphorous), and chocolate raisins.
Mix the meats, cheeses, and veggies that your nanny charges most prefer into plain quinoa, and then dress lightly with a basic vinaigrette.
Hummus + Pita Plate
10 out of 10 kids love a good smear of hummus. This nutritious snack can be the foundation of a great lunch!
Get a recipe: How To Make Hummus from Scratch
Pack with: Salami, olives, carrots, baby tomatoes, and grapes. Garbanzo beans are an excellent source of dietary fiber and they pack a punch with a huge amount of magnesium, potassium and iron!
Breakfast for Lunch
Make extra food when you have time for a nice breakfast on the weekend, and save the leftovers for lunches —think hard-boiled eggs, leftover pancakes, and leftover sausages. Breakfast for dinner is a kid favorite, and to become the nanny hero all you’ve got to do is switch things up!
Get a recipe: How To Hard-Boil an Egg, How To Make 2-Ingredient Banana Pancakes, The Best Pancake Recipe: Lofty Buttermilk Pancakes
Pack with: Sliced strawberries, squeezable yogurt. Frozen yogurt tubes also make great small ice packs, and typically thaw by lunch. Eggs are full of protein, along with Vitamin B2, selenium, Vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals like zinc, iron and copper.
Vegetable Sushi or Onigiri
Using leftover rice and cooked fish from a previous meal, packing sushi for the nanny family can be as easy as making sandwiches — especially if the nanny kids feel like helping.
Get a recipe: Salmon and Black Sesame Onigiri (Japanese Rice Balls), Summer Project: Make Vegetable Maki Sushi with Kids!
Pack with: Sushi condiments, edamame, snickerdoodle cookie, and raspberries. These gorgeous berries contain strong antioxidants like Vitamin C, quercetin and gallic acid that fight against cancer, heart and circulatory disease. Also, raspberries are known to have anti-inflammatory properties!
Source: The Kitchn