Guest Post: 3 Healthy Lunchbox Snacks Your Kids Will Love: No cooking required

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By Megan Hogan
Health Coach, Savvy Kitchenista and founder of TakeoutIntervention.com

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Finding healthy lunch ideas can be difficult. Kids can be choosy and most classrooms or cafeterias don’t have a microwave or refrigerator. Kids don’t get enough time to eat and mom doesn’t have enough time to pack lunch.

The following are kid tested, nutritious snacks you can feel good about sending your kid to school with.

Don’t rely on packaged, processed foods that are expensive. The following 3 ideas can be made in less than 5 minutes and will include a full serving of produce to keep your kid healthy.

1. Jicama

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This sweet and crunchy root vegetable tastes like a mix between an apple (sweet) and a potato (starchy). You can find it in the produce section near the root vegetables and it’s very inexpensive.

Make it kid friendly by sprinkling a little cinnamon and sugar (optional) on them after cutting the jicama into sticks. One jicama is approximately 4 servings. Talk about a big bang for your buck.

A savory option, which is traditional in Mexico, is to squeeze some lime juice and top with chili powder and sea salt.

Jicama is kind of a pain to cut. You’ll want to remove the skin with a vegetable peeler. Then simply cut it down the middle then in half again and again until you’ve created fun sticks or squares.

2. Edamame

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Kids love this traditional Asian side dish. You can find bags of Edamame in the freezer section. Edamame (soybeans) are high in protein and fun to eat. Kids love scraping the pods with their teeth to suck out the little soybeans inside. That being said, kids prefer the pods on over the already shelled option because they get to play with their food.

You don’t even need to cook the Edamame. Edamame in the frozen section is typically precooked (you’ll have to steam or blanch it if not) and can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight, in your child’s lunchbox, or in the microwave for approximately one-two minutes. One bag will yield 2-4 servings. You’ll want to pack an extra baggie or container to act as a bowl for the empty shells.

3. Cantaloupe and Turkey

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The combination of sweet and savory is satisfying and makes a great side dish. Simply cube some cantaloupe and cut some turkey deli slices into smaller pieces. Wrap the turkey around the cantaloupe and secure it with a toothpick or pack them separately and let your child assemble them at lunch.

Lunchmeat can be very high in sodium. Opting for a reduced sodium turkey or nitrate free less processed version is your best bet.

Mom or dad will have to do the peeling and slicing, but these foods are so fun to eat since kids can use their fingers. Let your child help pack lunch the night before and even sneak a few bites. Paired with a simple sandwich, these snacks can replace crackers or chips.

Found this helpful? I’d love to hear from you! My mission is to support you to bridge the gap between knowing you should be eating healthier and actually doing it. With easy recipes that can be made faster than calling for takeout and a fun and flexible approach to healthy living, I hope to make your life more delicious. If you make these healthy lunch ideas or any others, please share pictures of your creations on my facebook page at www.facebook.com/TakeoutIntervention.

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Tags: Megan Hogan
Category: Guest Post

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