Back to School Lunches for Healthier Kids

It’s almost back to school time, which means that very soon parents will be back in the groove of packing lunches for their children. During the summer months, it might become easier to provide nutritious, well-rounded lunches and snacks for your kids. And in between summer camp, playing with friends and going to the pool, kids need fuel to keep themselves going. But, when the school bell rings and class is back in session, how can a busy parent ensure their child is getting a healthy lunch?

Read some of our ideas for quick and easy ways to incorporate a healthy lunch into your child’s school day:

  1. Be sure to start the day with breakfast! If you are in a rush, try to avoid giving your child sugary treats as breakfast. Some ideas to try include Greek yogurt with fruit, a banana or apple with peanut butter on whole grain toast, or a homemade smoothie. For smoothies, include fresh or frozen fruit, peanut butter, & milk or yogurt for a great mix of protein, fiber, & nutrients. Starting the day off with a nutritious breakfast ensures your child will feel full and energized until lunch.
  2. Swap white bread for a whole grain wrap or pita. Wraps and pitas are lower in calories than traditional bread, contain more nutrients, are easier to pack and kids love them. Place lean turkey breast, chicken, lettuce and other toppings in bags so your child can assemble their own sandwich!
  3. Often when you include fruit or veggies with your child’s lunch, it gets left in the bag or tossed. Try including almond butter, Nutella (only sometimes, as it is still high in sugar) or hummus with it. Your child will be more inclined to eat the healthy stuff if there is a dip involved!
  4. Replace your Capri Sun, juice box or high sugar beverage with flavored water or a non-calorie sports drinks. The sugar in your child’s beverage could be leading to a sugar crash later in the day.