Smart and Healthy Fall Lunches For Kids

 Smart and Healthy Fall Lunches For Kids

Once kids are in school again, they can be challenged with learning, social pressers and a heavy homework load.  Most parents don't know that stress, anxiety and inability to focus in school are very common for many children.  As parents, you can help by taking advantage of this season's brain-boosting and mood-managing fall harvest foods and putting them in  your kids' lunch box.  Not only are they loaded with the nutrients needed for a kid's day in school, they also taste great to a kid's picky pallet.

Junk food in is junk mind out

Parents will often pack kids lunches with foods that are processed and full of sugar because they are more convenient and kids are generally more drawn to these types of foods.  Kristine Guglielmo a certified holistic health counselor explains that children who eat processed foods and sugars may

  • Have a harder time maintaining the rigors of the school day (stress)
  • Lose concentration
  • Feel sluggish during the afternoon

Kids in school need more nutrients

Children under stress or who need to concentrate more, require a higher amount of magnesium, vitamin C, Vitamin B12, B complex and Vitamin E, which are abundant in fall harvest foods. 


Some ideas include:

Pumpkin:  Make a big pot of pumpkin soup and put it in a thermos, make a healthy vegan pumpkin and bean stew, make homemade pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffins using gluten free or whole grain flours and either using natural sweeteners or fruit juice and less sugar to sweeten it with.

Kabocha squash:  Kabocha squash is very high in vitamin C, is naturally sweet and can be used for soups, make a Kabocha squash stew with garbanzo beans or make a beef and Kabocha squash stew for dinner and use the leftovers for a hearty brain boosting high protein lunch.

Spaghetti squash:  Use spaghetti squash how you would use pasta, just cut it in half scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Bake for 1hr on 400 degrees and top with your favorite pasta sauce and ground meat, sausage or beans and cheese.  Taste great the next day for lunch and can be eaten hot, warm or cold.

Sweet potatoes:  This has been called nature's perfect food.  Sweet potatoes are easy to make simply poke a few holes in it and bake at 400 degrees for 1hr or until soft, slice open and add a little butter and cinnamon then wrap in foil to pack for lunch.  You can bake a few at a time and keep it in the fridge and pack it cold with nothing on it in a lunch box because it tastes great plain too.

Pears:  Serve whole, chop them up or poach them the night before for a sweet healthy lunch box treat.

Pomegranate:  These little jewels are great loaded with brain and mood boosting vitamins and antioxidants as well as being fun to eat.  Slice a whole pomegranate in half for your kids to pick out the seeds on their own or put the seeds in a little plastic bowl with a lid for the lunch box or you can add pomegranate seeds to salad or yogurt.

Sheep's milk cheese:  Is excellent in the fall and sheep's milk is more tolerant than cows milk for many people.  Sheep's milk cheese has B12, protein and fats that are great for energy, focus, stress relief and brainpower.  Cut some slices with apples or pears and walnuts in the lunch box or use sheep's milk cheese in place of other cheeses in a healthy wrap.  You can also grate the cheese on the spaghetti squash, sweet potato or anything else you would normally grate cheese on. 

Apples:  Fresh organic apples are sweet, crunchy and juicy in the fall.  Kids love apples and you love how healthy they are.  Cut up apples with cheese and walnuts drizzled with honey for a sweet lunch box treat or make a turkey salad wrap using whole grain tortillas, turkey, chopped apples, chopped cheese and lettuce or spinach tossed in lemon juice, olive oil salt and pepper.  Make a healthy apple crisp by chopping up apples, mix with cinnamon apple juice, a little lemon juice, a little honey, Stevia or sugar in a buttered baking dish, mix in oats, about 4-6 tablespoons of chopped butter and walnuts and bake for 45min in a 400 degree oven or till apples are bubbly and soft.

Cauliflower:  Is an easy lunch box treat, simply cut raw cauliflower into sticks like trees and pack with a side of hummus for dipping or you can lightly steam the night before and serve chilled sprinkled with salt and pepper and optional lemon juice with olive oil and grated cheese.

Spinach:  Make a salad with spinach, turkey, apples, grapes, walnuts and cheese.  Add spinach in healthy sandwich wraps or pita bread like you would lettuce.

Grapes:  Pack fresh grapes alone or add to salads like the one above, grapes even taste great in a chicken salad made with leftover poached or baked chicken, celery, whole plain yogurt, grapes sliced or whole, a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder mixed together, chilled and packed in a sealed container for school or wrap in lettuce leaves or stuffed in a whole grain pita or wrapped in a healthy tortilla.

Figs:  Figs are full of calcium, fiber, potassium, minerals, and vitamins A, B1, B2 and can taste like candy to some kids.  Pack your Childs lunch with figs, nuts and cheese or figs alone for their dessert.  Add to salads of mixed greens or spinach, or blend fig and goat cheese, salt and pepper with a touch of honey together making a delicious salty sweet sandwich spread with chicken or turkey and spinach on whole grain bread or wrap.

Carrots:  Kids love carrots, you can pack raw carrot sticks with a side of almond or peanut butter for dipping, make carrot soup the night before and pack it in a thermos, shred carrots into a salad or shred carrots and stuff into a pita bread with hummus and avocado for a yummy, vegan, brain perfect lunch.

Chicken soup:  By making homemade chicken soup, not only do you have enough for a few lunches, but also you can take a basic recipe and add in almost all of the fall harvest veggies.  Go crazy with carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, different squashes, spinach and even top with grated sheep's milk cheese if you like.

Use your imagination and see what works for you and your kids by using the healthy fall harvest foods listed above to balance your Childs moods and boost their brainpower!

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Written by: Jentana Lee Dabbs See other articles by Jentana Lee Dabbs
About the Author:

Jentana Lee Dabbs is the author of the upcoming book "Sexy and StressFree-28 yummy days to simplify, beautify, de-stress and weigh-less."  She is a certified hypnotherapist, weight loss specialist, health coach and wellness chef.  She teaches online bikini body countdown cooking classes at and helps stressed and depleted moms increase their productivity, energy, focus, happiness and find their sexiness again.  To find out how Jentana can help you please go to and feel free to ask any questions.

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