It’s Lunch Time!

 

A new school year is upon us and you may be wondering what your child will eat for lunch each day.  Whether your child buys their lunch at school, or you pack a lunch for them, there are ways to help ensure that they eat a balanced lunch.

If your child buys lunch at school, review the menu with them and help them understand which foods would be good choices and why.  Encourage them to drink milk and water and avoid sugary drinks like soda and juice.

If you pack a lunch for your child, spend some time brainstorming ideas with them. You might discover they have some great ideas and learn more about what types of food and snacks your child would like to eat.  Nutrition experts recommend that every child be exposed to a variety of tastes and textures. Each meal and snack should include at least 1 protein, 1 starch, 1 fruit or vegetable and a drink.  If you have a “picky” eater, be sure to include foods you know they will eat.  Some ideas for lunches might include:

  • Deli meat and cheese on bread, rolled in a tortilla or stuffed in a pita
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Trail mix, popcorn, baked chips or pretzels
  • Fruit (fresh or in natural juices), Fruit Leather
  • Yogurt, Jell-O or Pudding
  • Vegetables (celery, carrots, jicama, broccoli, snap peas, etc with veggie or Ranch dip)
  • Yogurt smoothies, water, milk or 100% juice box

When packing a lunch, make sure hot foods are kept hot and cold foods are cold.  Hot foods (soup, chili, etc) can be sent in a thermos.  Just remember, your child may not be able to heat up their food.   Always place a freezer pack in their lunch box when you pack meat, yogurt, cheese and mayo.

There are many different options when you pack your child’s lunch.  For more ideas, check out these links:

How to Pack a Healthy, Tasty Lunch for Kids

Healthy Sack Lunch Tips

 

 

 

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