- Always pack nutritious foods your child likes for lunch. Don't pack something they haven't eaten at home first.
- Lunches should consist of lean protein, fresh vegetable, fresh fruit, and whole wheat or whole grain.
- Buy produce in season. Buying fruit and vegetables in season means your child will get great nutrients and experience the changing seasons too.
- Instead of packing whole fruit, make eating fresh fruit and vegetables more fun by making sure pieces are bite size and providing a healthy dip to go with them.
- Make your own salad dressing and dips instead of buying them. Hummus, bean dip, and yogurt based dips are fun to make and your children will enjoy them more if they get to help you make them. Pack them in a separate, easy to open container.
- When making sandwiches use a good whole wheat bread and make sure to put mayonnaise, tomatoes, pickles and any other juicy foods directly between layers of meat or lettuce. This will help eliminate soggy bread. Cut sandwiches for small children into quarters so it's easier to eat.
- If you want to pack a frozen water or small juice box to keep foods cool, make sure there is enough time for it to thaw out before snack recess. There is nothing worse than not being able to eat or drink something because it is still frozen.
- When the weather gets colder a favorite stew, soup, chili or pasta packed in insulated thermoses or containers make a nice warm lunch.
- Favorite leftover dinners also make great lunches.
- Don't forget to involve your children in both the menu planning and preparation of their lunches. This will help them learn what a nutritious lunch looks like.
- Make sure warm foods stay warm and cold foods stay cold by packing them separately. There are many different lunch boxes and containers to choose from.
- Tuck a small note into their lunchbox. A little love and encouragement go a long way.
Click here for lunch recipe.
Click here for snack recipes.