School’s In Session: Lunchbox Lessons
Lunch Matters Too!
Even with a healthy breakfast to fuel the morning, your child’s mind and body are working overtime at school and will need a healthy lunch. If your family chooses to pack lunches instead of purchasing lunch at school, a little planning ahead and you can make lunches that make your kid happy – and you happier when you see that everything has been eaten!
With today’s insulated lunch boxes and containers, your food options are virtually limitless. The key is to pack sensible portions of foods your kids like while still hitting all of the main food groups. It can seem overwhelming with everyone’s busy schedules, but there are a few tips to keeping ahead:
- Pack your lunches at night so you avoid the rush in the morning.
- Use sandwich bags or rubber containers available at your local grocery store as portion control guides. Depending on the food, you can fill them well in advance, such as on the weekend to save time.
- Have the kids help so they can make choices with you about the healthy food they want to eat and start building healthy habits for life
Nutritional Guidelines to Remember:
When you go shopping there are so many choices that claim to make it easier for you when packing a school lunch. There are snack sizes and 100-calorie portions. They may look great, but the same basic rules that apply for your diet apply for your child’s lunches – look at those nutrition labels for hidden salt, sodium and fats. Even snack sizes might have more fat and sodium than your child should be eating as part of their diet!
Just remember the basics:
Protein and dairy: These choices will fill your child up and keep them feeling satisfied longer.
Fruits and vegetables: A generous portion of fruits and vegetables provide fiber and energy and are packed with the nutrients your child needs.
Carbohydrates: A healthy serving of carbohydrates, low in salt and sugar and full of wholegrains will provide that energy boost your child will need for all the afternoon activities.
Looking for inspiration? Here are some fantastic websites that provide sample menus and tips on how to pack a healthy lunch starting with our own CalorieKing Lunch Box Recipes:
CalorieKing Lunchbox Recipes: