Three Strategies for Packing Healthy School Lunches

Packing a healthy lunch can be stressful and confusing for many parents.  We want our kids nourished and sustained throughout the day.  At the same time, we actually want them to eat the food we make.  

Don’t worry – these two desires are not mutually exclusive!  By using the three tips listed below, both parents and kids can be satisfied with what’s in the lunchbox.

1.  Cover all the Bases

Check out our HealthyPlate Images for a quick refresher on protein foods, whole grains and starches, fruits, vegetables, healthy fats and digestives. Taping these guides up where lunches are made is a great reference for the whole family. 

2.  Love your Leftovers

That hearty soup your kids raved about last night?  They’re going to be thrilled to find a thermos full of that cozy comfort food in their lunch today. Whole grain bread is great for dipping, and some matchstick carrots or apple slices add a sweet and crunchy boost.

3.  Teamwork

Make lunch planning and preparation a family affair.  Shop for groceries together, and let the kids pick their favorites.  In the evening, have them wash the fruits and vegetables, or maybe even do some chopping.  Whatever job is right for them, they will look forward to digging into the meal that they helped create.

It may take some time and practice to make consistently well-rounded lunches everybody is happy with, but if the family works together and keeps trying, the day will come when it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

By Tanja Pavlovic, Nutrition and Dietetics Intern