In the middle of a school day, the lunch bell rings. A stream of children run out to their lockers, pulling out lunch bags—or they rush to grab the best spot in the cafeteria line. And as they sit down and begin to eat, the inevitable comparing begins. “What’s in your lunch?” “Wow, that looks good!” “I’ll trade you!”
At those times, it feels great to be envied. It was always the kid with the Pop Tarts or the Snickers bar who had people jostling to get sharesies. But in today’s world, with the incredible rise of childhood obesity, perhaps you don’t want your child being envied for a lunch filled with sugars, fats, empty carbs, and preservatives. Yet at the same time, you also don’t want them to be shunned for pulling out plain tofu on whole wheat!
Healthy lunch recipes for kids are not hard to come by, but making them taste great is often a challenge. When all is said and done, you want your children to enjoy their lunch, instead of tossing it out and buying the cafeteria pizza. But not to fear… thankfully, there are some solutions to this problem, including our solution: hummus!
Hummus—the Magic Ingredient in Healthy Recipes for Kids
When you think about it, it’s no surprise that many healthy recipes for kids include flavored or unflavored hummus. If you buy hummus from a quality brand, you’re guaranteed nothing but healthy ingredients: chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. In fact, if you buy the very best brands, you’ll also get extra virgin olive oil and no preservatives. These ingredients provide a healthy dose of protein, complex carbohydrates, heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Sure beats the heck out of high-fructose corn syrup and partially-hydrogenated vegetable oil, right? Seems like a no-brainer. And, with the proliferation of great flavors out there, it’s not hard to find a variety that will have your kids clamoring for more. But before committing to just any hummus, make sure you find the ones who are truly healthy for your child.
Is Your Hummus Healthy?
Not all hummus brands are the same. With slick marketing, many name-brand hummus manufacturers seem to promote healthy eating for kids, but don’t provide the quality ingredients your child’s body needs. Check the label!
- Does your hummus contain extra virgin olive oil instead of canola oil or olive oil?
- Are the ingredients organic?
- Is it free of any unhealthy preservatives, like sodium benzoate or sodium nitrate?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” it’s a sign that your hummus may not be the “wonder food” it’s billed as. Make sure you check these seemingly small details if you’re committed to finding truly healthy meals for kids.
Lunches Kids Will Love!
If you want to wow your kids, and all their friends, try a few of these simple tricks!
Substitute hummus for mayonnaise on a sandwich. There is no easier way to liven up a sandwich, and make it more nutritious, than to spread on hummus instead of fatty mayonnaise. Recommended flavors: Buffalo Bleu, Black Garlic, or Jalapeño Red.
Make pasta with a hummus-based sauce for a mega flavor boost! You might be surprised to find out that you can make a super-tasty and healthy pasta by using hummus in your sauce instead of oils and salts. Try recipes like Kale Pesto Penne with Roasted Tomatoes or Lemon Beet Pasta with Grilled Halloumi to get the creativity flowing.
Choose a creative flavor to make veggie dipping fun! Plain veggies are a tale as old as time. And sending some unhealthy ranch is a pretty mundane solution. Spice them up with a nutritious and delicious dip! Recommended flavors: Jalapeño Cilantro, Original, Spicy Avocado, or Thai Coconut Curry.
Turns out it’s not so hard to make creative, healthy snack recipes for kids. Whew! But it’s important to make sure your recipes include high-quality hummus, which is why we at HOPE Hummus make sure your children receive a product with extra virgin olive oil, USDA Certified Organic ingredients, and absolutely no unnatural preservatives.
When you send your kids to school, send them prepared. Everyone loves to be the talk of the schoolyard!