Healthy Lunch Options for Back to School

Kids eating school lunch

School is just around the corner, and it’s not too early to start preparing for the year. You’ve probably thought a lot about school schedules, supplies, after-school care, but have you thought about school lunches?

Packing your child’s lunch is the best way to ensure they’re getting the nourishment they need throughout the school day.  It’s also a good alternative to cafeteria lunches that can be high in fat and calories.

Check out some of our healthy lunch entrees like [intlink id="1772" type="post"]Crunchy Vegetable Wraps[/intlink] or [intlink id="4102" type="post"]Citrusy Pasta Salad[/intlink]. If you’re looking for some snack ideas, [intlink id="2202" type="post"]Peppers on the Ranch[/intlink] or [intlink id="249" type="post"]Sandoodles[/intlink] are both great options!

You can also make your kids old favorites healthier with these substitutions:

  • Choose whole-grain bread over white bread for sandwiches
  • Use mustard instead of mayonnaise on wraps and sandwiches
  • For drinks, pack water or low-fat milk instead of sodas and juices
  • As a snack, be sure to provide fruits and vegetables like carrots and apples rather than cookies and chips

If you don’t have time to pack your child’s lunch, you can still help them eat healthy. Look over the school’s menu the night before, and help your child pick out the healthier items.

It’s also important that your child’s lunch stay cool during the day. If the school doesn’t provide refrigerators for lunches, be sure to put ice packs in your child’s lunchbox. The ice will help food stay cool and keep it safe for kids to eat.

Now your turn—how do you pack a healthy lunch for your kids?

 

Comments

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One comment on “Healthy Lunch Options for Back to School
  1. maryanne says:

    Great article! I hope more parents and kids chime in on how to solve the healthy lunch challenge.

    Packing a lunch is smart in so many ways. First, without having to stand in line it gives children more time to eat or at least least feel less rushed. This is important given the shortened lunch times. Second, you have a pretty good idea of what they are/are not eating, with clues from what’s left in their lunchbox. Third, you can save money in the long run. We generally pack left overs or use items we typically have on hand just for lunchboxes. I figure that we spend the same or less and provide much higher quality food than the school can offer. Fourth, better lunch means better grades.

    We use a lunchbox system called bento, and there are lots of other options out there that are similar in function. You open the box and everything is right there–no opening of packages or baggies so items don’t get get lost. Also great for optimizing the time in the lunch room.

    happy lunching…

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