School Lunches That Make the Grade
Kids need more than pens, pencils, and notebooks to successfully get through a day at school. They also need healthy lunches. Here are some tips on how to make sure your child eats healthy foods while at school:
- Get your child involved with the planning and packing of lunches.
- Acknowledge his or her likes and dislikes.
- Assemble lunch the night before to avoid morning delays and/or hurried choices.
- If your child buys lunch at the school cafeteria, make sure he or she knows the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods.
- Teach your child about portions and portion control.
- Think healthy and think light.
- Teach your child to eat until no longer hungry, not until “stuffed.”
Stumped for ideas on what to pack? Try these healthy options:
- Sandwich made with wholegrain bread, lean meat, and low-fat cheese; or peanut butter and all-fruit jelly on whole-grain bread
- Pita pocket stuffed with shredded turkey, chicken, or light roast beef; or grated vegetables, low-fat cheese, and light salad dressing
- Mini pizza, whole-grain English muffin, or bagel topped with turkey pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, and garlic herb cream cheese
- Low-fat tuna or chicken salad on a mini bagel
Fruits and vegetables
- Red pepper strips, carrots, celery, sugar snap peas, or green beans with salsa or light ranch dressing
- Fresh fruit
- Fruit cups
- Low-fat yogurt, either in a cup or a tube
- Wheat crackers with peanut butter or low-fat cheese
- Cottage cheese, with or without fruit
- Pudding made with skim milk
- String cheese
- Salsa with baked chips
- Small bag of light popcorn
- Baked or low-fat potato chips
- Fun-size candy bars
- Low-fat cookies
Foods to limit
- Regular snack chips (potato, tortilla, etc.)
- Full-size candy bars
- Regular cookies
- Canned fruits in sweetened syrup