Photo Credit: Maya Visnyei
Is your lunch putting you to sleep? Mine often does. So, I’ll make a cup or tea around 2 p.m. or if I’m really hitting a carb-coma wall, I’ll grab a coffee. But what do our kids do when they hit an afternoon slump - space out in class? Um, probably.
If you’re careful, you won’t be packing an afternoon nap along with their lunch. Meals that have a good combination of proteins and carbohydrates are key to keeping blood sugar levels even and brain chemistry lively. Avoid a lot of dairy, too many eggs, too much red meat and bananas at midday meals – they all act to calm the brain rather than fire it up. Instead, look for lunches with tuna, legumes and, despite what you’ve heard, turkey. We can’t promise that they’ll pay attention in history class but we can share our favorite slump-free lunches.
First we start with fresh tuna salad, because great lunches don’t have to come between two slices of bread.
1 can organic tuna
2 hard boiled eggs
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 apple, cored and diced
1 mini cucumber, diced
1 carrot, cut into small slices
4 ice cream cups
1. Combine tuna, eggs, mayonaise, mustard and garlic in a bowl. Mix them together until the tuna is cut into smaller pieces and the ingredients are well blended. In four separate bowls, place the cut carrot, cucumber, seeds and apple.
2. Use an ice cream scoop and scoop three small scoops of tuna into ice cream cups. Allow kids to dress their ice cream cups with their choice of “treats.”
Here are more scrumptious and slump-free school lunches:
Hummus Feta Sandwich on Whole Grain is a substantial sammie that gives kids the carb-protein one-two punch that keeps them going all afternoon.
ABC Quesadillas are a great make-ahead alternative to sandwiches and travel well.
Turkey White Bean Chili: an SPC favorite! Make it for dinner and lunch is already done.
Fancy Tuna Wraps are easy to whip up and can contain any veggies you want to wedge in.