Nina’s Tips & Techniques: Creating a Balanced Lunchbox Part 2: Protein
How much of my kids’ lunch should be proteins?
Kim Evans from Whole Health Nutrition says:
“Protein should take center stage when it comes to packing kids’ lunches. This is the scaffolding to build lunch around. An ideal lunch would include 3-4 ounces of protein. This is roughly a deck-of-card portion of deli meat, or a ½ cup of hummus paired with a smoothie and a hardboiled egg. Smoothies for breakfast, lunch or snack can make for a quick, high-protein nutrition boost. Try to incorporate some unsweetened or lightly sweetened yogurt into your smoothie for a triple bonus of calcium and probiotics.”
I’m nervous to pack meat in my child’s lunch because of food safety – should I be worried?
If your child’s lunch box is being kept in a refrigerator then you have no reason to worry. If there’s no cold space lunch boxes then you’ll need to pack cold packs along with the lunch. A good cold pack inside an insulated bag should maintain the temperature needed to keep meat and eggs safe to eat. If kids are going on a field trip and the weather is hot I err on the side of safety and save meat proteins for breakfast and dinner. Those are the lunches you want to think about your alternative proteins like hummus, nuts, seeds, or tofu.