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Packing Healthy School Lunches

Published on September 3, 2013 by Virginia Women's Center

If this is the first time you’re sending little ones off to classrooms, or even if you’ve been packing school lunches for years, we know that it can be a time-consuming and sometimes overwhelming process. Here are a few tips we came across that we wanted to share with you. It’s important to remember that even if you can’t find the time to pack lunch every day, that’s okay. Try to commit to a couple days a week to start.

fruits and vegetablesPick the right lunchbox. Choose a lunch bag or box that your child will love because of the colors or a favorite cartoon character. Choose one you love because it is easy to clean and keeps food cool.

Plan ahead. The mornings can be hectic, but if you pack lunches after dinner the night before, you and your kids can easily grab and go in the morning. Make sure you have back-up items in the pantry like tuna or dried fruits and nuts.

Get your kids involved. Sit down and plan lunches together. When you’re at the grocery store, have your kids pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables or a new one they’d like to try. Have them help pack lunch by washing fruits and vegetables or picking a snack from a list of healthy options.

Mix it up. We all know that lunchmeat and cheese between two pieces of bread can get boring day after day. Try to mix it up by using wraps, crackers or cucumbers as the pieces of bread. Protein sources can include tuna, peanut butter, turkey or beans. Feel free to use leftovers from the night before.

Make it colorful and easy to eat, but avoid convenience foods. Use bright fruits and vegetables to bring color into your child’s lunch. You can also use cookie cutters to cut fruit or sandwiches into fun shapes. Make sure things are easy to eat and don’t require much preparation.

Avoid sugary drinks. Instead, substitute water or milk.

Include a note. Leave a ‘thinking of you’ note in your child’s lunchbox to brighten his or her day.

These are just a few of the tips we came across. A simple Pinterest search will reveal lots of other ideas and suggestions. We’d like to know, what tips and tricks work for you and your family?

 

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