What’s for Lunch?

— Written By and last updated by Nicole Vernon
en Español / em Português

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It’s that time of the year again! Kids will soon be off to school and they are faced with the important question: what’s for lunch? With childhood obesity on the rise, having a nutritious lunch is an important part of an overall healthful diet. Since most kids consume one-third of their daily calories at lunch, here are some tips to help them eat more super-nutritious foods.

Pack it yourself:

  • Plan ahead! It helps to have all the right ingredients on hand for making the best lunch. You might even consider coming up with a weekly menu. Involve the kids in planning whenever possible.
  • Avoid last-minute rushing. Try preparing all or part of the lunch the night before.
  • Make sure you include at least one fresh fruit and vegetable.
  • Best beverages: skim milk, water, or 100% juice.
  • Remember food safety! It is best if you keep foods chilled in an insulated lunch bag with either an ice pack or frozen bottle of water.

The school lunch line:

  • Obtain a school lunch menu and help your child make better decisions at home. Stress the importance of the basics: eating enough fruit and vegetables, low-fat foods, keeping sugary foods as a treat (not a mainstay), and eating a variety of grains (make half of your grains whole grains).

Practice making better choices everywhere you go so your child will make healthy lunch choices.