Simple Tips for Healthier School Lunches

The kids will be heading back to school soon, and that means your job as official family lunch packer is about to resume. Before it does, and you resort to old standbys like pre-packed lunch kits and bags of cookies, consider some healthier alternatives, instead. By sending your kids to school with healthy foods and snacks, you can help them grow strong while also preserving their healthy smiles!

Include a Mix of Fruits, Vegetables and Proteins

A well-balanced diet should include fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. This year, instead of sticking to potato chips or crackers, why not mix up the side dishes you send in your kids’ lunches? Extra nutrition doesn’t have to be boring either. Choosing colorful fruits and veggies, and packing them in fun containers, can make lunchtime fun and nutritious.

  • Carrot or celery sticks are great options. Include yogurt dip, peanut butter, cheese or other condiments to make them even more appealing to young appetites.
  • Apple slices, bananas, grapes, and orange slices also travel well, and are kid-friendly.
  • Lunch meat is hardly the only way to add much-needed protein to school lunches. Cheese provides calcium and protein. So does peanut butter (if it is allowed at your child’s school – some have banned it due to severe allergies). Add leftover chicken from last night’s dinner to a wrap or salad, for a fun update on traditional lunch fare.

Make Sure to Pack Water for Healthy Teeth

While milk is a healthy option most kids enjoy, make sure your child is drinking water each day, as well. Water is great for dental health, because it helps produce plaque-fighting saliva, so make sure to include some with each lunch.

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