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Send Your Kids Back to School with Healthy Lunches

It’s almost time for kids to head back to school! You want to make sure they’re eating all of the right kinds of food to fuel their growing bodies, but you also want them to like it. Start packing smarter with these helpful bagged lunch pointers:

healthy school lunches4 Tips for Healthier School Lunches

1) Focus on the Sandwich

White bread is processed, contains unnecessary sugar and provides very little fiber. When making a sandwich for your child, be sure to use whole grain bread. Choose a lean meat such as turkey or chicken and make an effort to not add too many condiments.

2) Make Fruits & Vegetables Fun

For most children, fruits and veggies are low on their list of favorite foods. But, that doesn’t mean they won’t eat them! Try to pack fruit with bright colors: strawberries, purple grapes or mangos. Vegetables can be made more palatable by packing a small amount of dipping sauce.
The U.S. Government’s MyPlate initiative, which is focused on promoting more healthy food options to Americans, recommends half of the child’s lunch consists of fruits and vegetables.

3) Avoid Juice & Soda

Juice and soda is packed with sugar and can cause dehydration. If your child is dehydrated, they may not perform as well as they could be throughout the day!
Pack water with each lunch. To reduce waste, fill a reusable water bottle.

4) Skip the Prepackaged Lunches

While store-bought prepackaged lunches are convenient, they do not typically contain the right types of foods for your child.  If time is an issue, pack 5 days worth of lunches on Sunday night before you begin your week. Be sure to pack non perishable items, refrigerate perishable food and air-seal each item in a zip bag.

What’s an Example of a Healthy School Lunch?

Sandwich: Whole wheat bread, sliced chicken and lettuce.
Fruit: Apple slices and grapes.
Vegetables: Baby carrots and peas.
Snack: Almonds or a celery stick with peanut butter.
To keep things interesting, try not to pack the same lunch every day. If you need inspiration, try to model lunches after options available on the Bentgo box website.

Learn More About Your Child’s Nutrition

To ensure your child is getting all of the nutrients they need on a daily basis, utilize the MyPlate daily checklist.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your child’s health, please call our Clinton Crossing pediatric office at (585) 244-9720, or our Bushnell’s Basin pediatric office (585) 381-3780 to schedule an appointment.

Sources:
https://kids.usa.gov/parents/exercise-fitness-nutrition/healthy-school-lunches/index.shtml
http://www.ewg.org/research/healthy-home-tips/tip-16-5-tips-school-lunch

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