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  • Carrie Hoshaw

Creating a Healthy Lunch

Are you constantly struggling to think of new healthy choices for your child's lunch. Well, you are not alone. I have been asked by parents and teachers to include ideas on what to put in your child's lunch. Especially for those hectic mornings when you have to get out of the house quickly. Here are few tips on how to pack your child's lunch.

#1 Keep it small. Most of the children cannot eat a whole sandwich or a whole apple. Make the portions finger food size. The children who bring a whole sandwich typically ask if they can be done, half way through the sandwich. So, pack half a sandwich. The apples get thrown away half way or after a few bites. So, cut the apple into small pieces and save the rest for another time.

#2 Ask the child what healthy foods they want in their lunch box. So many times the children bring foods in their lunch box that mom or dad packed for them, but they don't like. We ask them to eat a little of it, but can not force them to eat. Include the child in the lunch making process.

#3 Keep it clean. Eating clean means, foods that are unprocessed. Unprocessed foods have higher nutritional value. The benefit of eating unprocessed foods include; increased concentration, stabilization of behavior and improved sleep patterns. Your child will be given the best opportunity to perform at their best. A good rule for choosing healthy foods is: If you don't know what the ingredient is, neither will your body. Read labels and ingredients.

#4 We have the children eat their healthy lunchbox items first. Anything from the list below are allowed to be eaten first. Sweets and packaged processed foods are last. There are a few items that we do not allow at the school. We do not allow soda, sugar drinks, suckers, gum, hard candy, and store bought cupcakes. These will get sent back home.

#5 Lunchables typically are only desirable because of the candy inside, but the children usually do not eat them, so don't waste your money. However, most children love a homemade lunchable. Put a few crackers, cheese and a few squares of lunch meat in small containers and they will love it. It is easy and cheap.

How to Pack Your Lunch

Step 1: Starch + Protein

  • Turkey sandwich

  • nut butter sandwich

  • hummus and crackers

  • cheese quesadilla

  • beans and rice

  • chili and crackers

  • chicken and rice

  • pasta and turkey

  • left overs from dinner

Step 2: Fruit

  • apple

  • orange

  • peaches or apricots

  • grapes

  • blueberries

  • applesauce

  • strawberries

  • pineapple wedges

  • black berries or raspberries

  • raisins or dried fruit

  • mango

  • bananas

Step 3: Veggie

  • carrots

  • celery

  • broccoli

  • salad

  • snap peas

  • snow peas

  • sliced bell pepper

Step 4: Snack

  • dried fruit

  • string cheese

  • yogurt

  • cottage cheese

  • yogurt pretzels

  • cheese slices

  • granola

  • Bunny cheese crackers

Step 5: WATER

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