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About Micaela

Micaela Preston is a marketing and communications consultant specializing in natural, organic and eco-friendly products and the health and wellness space. Micaela is available as a social media manager, green lifestyle writer, public speaker, brand ambassador and marketing manager.

Healthy School Lunches for Hungry Teenagers

Healthy Lunches for Hungry Teenagers // www.mindfulmomma.com

Thank you to Stonyfield for sponsoring this post!

Not. Enough. Food. That’s the message I was getting from my tween/teenage boys about the lunches I was packing for them. Somehow my little dudes have become big dudes, in grownup sized bodies that are still growing, if that’s even possible.

Gone are the days when I can create a lunch of a little bit of this and little bit of that. They need real food, not rabbit food! Add in sports activities after school and they need a mega ton of food in those lunch bags!

So….as a new school year begins, a few changes are in order around here.

  1. The kids will be much more involved in packing their own lunch. I’ll still be there to oversee things and maybe help chop some apples, but I want them to own it.
  2. More protein-packed snacks to help fill up those bellies.

Now if your kids are like mine, they want completely different things in their lunches, so flexibility is key! Here is our starting point. Make it work for your own kids by starting with the foods they love best, then testing out some new healthy options and see what sticks.

Healthy Lunches for Hungry Teenagers // www.mindfulmomma.com

A healthy base

We start with either a hearty sandwich or leftovers. What I love about leftovers is that they almost always include a healthy dose of vegetables. My guys aren’t huge sandwich fans, so I try to mix it up with interesting bread alternatives like a tortilla, a pretzel bun or a wheat roll. In a pinch we use packaged soup. (I’m always on the hunt for healthy soups my boys actually like that are preferably not in a BPA-laden can – so if you have any suggestions let me know!)

I also play lunch box cop and make sure they pack some type of fruit or vegetable in their lunch every day!

Healthy Lunches for Hungry Teenagers // www.mindfulmomma.com

Protein-packed snacks

High protein snacks will help fill them up, provide brain power and fuel them through they day and into after-school activities. Here are a few of our favorites:

We don’t usually do sweets in lunches but the chocolate hazelnut butter in the Justin’s snack packs is a nice treat!

Healthy Lunches for Hungry Teenagers // www.mindfulmomma.com

A functional lunch bag

You’re gonna need a pretty big lunch bag to hold enough food to satisfy a hungry teenager. You’ll also need to keep the perishable foods like yogurt, eggs or cheese cool, especially if anything is being held for an after-school snack. The solution? A freezeable PackIt lunch bag that will keep food or drinks cool for up to 10 hours, without added ice packs. Genius idea!

How has lunch packing changed as your kids have grown older?

Hey – I’ve got plenty more healthy lunch ideas, reusable lunch containers and lunch gear ideas where these came from!

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*Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Stonyfield and I received product samples from Stonyfield, Justin’s and PackIT to be able to show you their products. There are a few affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting Mindful Momma if you do!

Sweet Potato Smoothies – 3 Ways

Kid Approved Sweet Potato Smoothies // mindfulmomma.com

The day I discovered the frozen sweet potato chunks at my local co-op was oddly exciting. Not only was it a new way to keep a healthy staple on hand for soups and stews - but also something fun and different to add to our smoothies! And bonus - sweet potatoes make for a surprisingly pretty smoothie too - a light peachy, orange … [Continue reading]

Kid-Friendly Orange Hummus

Kid Friendly Orange Hummus // www.mindfulmomma.com

Given their own devices, kids don't always gravitate toward healthy, flavorful food. Have you noticed? LOL - I have too! But here's another thing I've noticed: If you put out a colorful plate of raw vegetables for snacking - kids will gobble them up! Having something tasty for dipping helps too - because who doesn't love to … [Continue reading]

Creative Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget // www.mindfulmomma.com

If there is ONE most important element to healthy living, I believe it's eating healthy food. Why? It's something we do (at least) three times a day, every day. It's what fuels our bodies to get the exercise we need, nourishes our brains to support our mental health, and builds up our immune system to fight off sickness. Food affects the … [Continue reading]

How Cast Iron Can Get You Unstuck from Non-Stick

How to Get Unstuck from Toxic Non-Stick Pans // mindfulmomma.com

Do you have a favorite non-stick pan (or two) that you can't quite get rid of? Even though you've heard that non-stick pans are bad for your health and not great for the planet either? Maybe you're afraid that nothing will work as well as your trusty non-stick. Maybe it's just a habit that's hard to break. Or perhaps you think that new … [Continue reading]