Healthy School Lunches: Yes, They Do Exist

Healthy School Lunches: Yes, They Do Exist

Lunch is key when it comes to fueling your child through the school day. But what does a healthy lunch look like – that kids will actually eat and not toss into the trash or trade with a tablemate? Here are fun and practical ideas for school day lunches that will help power your student through the afternoon.

Packing Their Lunch?

  1. Keep your child involved. Kids are more likely to eat foods they have picked out. When grocery shopping, let your child select which fruits and vegetables to purchase for lunches. Plus it’s fun for kids to pick different colors and shapes.
  2. Variety is key. Even if you plan on packing the same deli meat all week, switch out the bread for a whole wheat wrap, pita, English muffin, or a lettuce leaf for some variety.
  3. Don’t forget the dip. Some kids just refuse to eat their fruits and veggies! Try sending peanut butter to encourage your child to eat that apple or celery sticks. Try hummus for vegetables like carrots and zucchini or yogurt dip for grapes and berries.
  4. Include a healthy drink. Choose a bottle of 100% fruit juice or water.
  5. Consider the lunch box/bag and containers. There are so many different reusable options to choose from today. Let the kids pick a fun container and participate in packing the lunch.

School Lunch Tips

  1. Review the school menu ahead of time and together. Decide which days your child will purchase the school-provided lunch and which days to bring lunch. This will help avoid last minute morning stress.
  2. Discuss healthy and balanced meals with your child. Promote whole grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy and low-sugar items as priorities. Recognize that a treat is okay to include as well. The food eaten at lunch is used to keep your child’s mind sharp as well as provide energy — both important for those afternoon classes and after-school activities.
  3. Practice healthy portions and eating slow at home so students can repeat these habits in the lunchroom.

Arm your child with fundamental knowledge of healthy food choices by modeling them at home. Kids are capable of making healthy food choices with enthusiastic support.

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