Back to School Tips for Healthy Lunches

Your Health

“A few tips to keep in mind when trying to pack a healthy lunch for your child as you head back to school.” Erin Moore, MS, RD, KD, CNSC is a registered dietitian and the Clinical Nutrition Manager at Washington Regional Medical Center.

“If you typically do sandwiches try to choose 100% whole grain for your bread or your tortilla or whatever you’re making your sandwich with. Try to include a variety of colors for fruits and vegetables, as well as textures. The variety helps the kid to enjoy the meal and it also ensures that they are getting a variety of nutrients as well.”

“You can also engage your kid in shopping and planning for their meals. It lets them have some ownership in what they are going to be eating at school. So you’ll likely get them to try more things and have less food waste that way. You can also have some of your kids help you actually pack the lunch. So when you are preparing them for the week or maybe just the night before ask your child to help pick out what they would like for lunch the next day. This helps to teach them how to make a well balanced meal as well. When you guide them through the process of ‘let’s pick a fruit, let’s pick a vegetable, let’s pick a protein, let’s pick something crunchy, something cold,’ it helps them with the whole meal planning process so they have some ownership in that.”

” Here I have an example of how to switch up a typical sandwich lunch so that it’s a little bit different. So I have the lunch meat and the cheese and the crackers as well as some pineapple for fruit, and popcorn for a little bit of a crunch.And you can always pair it with a yogurt or a milk from the school cafeteria. So many ways that you can switch it up so that you don’t have just the typical sandwich and sides.”

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