Tips for Packing Healthier School Lunches

Anna Mitchell's picture
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We all know heart health starts with us, but we can pass those lessons on to our children, too. Blogger Anna Mitchell has some tips for packing healthier school lunches for your kids. She blogs at Club Femina.

It’s not always easy to come up with ideas for school lunch boxes.  Parents have to find a balance between what their kids will actually eat and what will provide them with the nutrients essential for learning and playground activities.

Milk Unleashed might be one answer.  It’s shelf safe, Grade A milk that doesn’t require refrigeration until it’s opened (no preservatives added).  Single-serving milk boxes – similar to juice boxes – can be stored in the pantry for up to six months without refrigeration.  Stock up so it’s always on hand and chill as needed – a great addition to the lunch box.  And, if for some reason the child doesn’t drink the milk during the day, it isn’t wasted since it is shelf safe – just put it back in the refrigerator for the next day.

Tips for kid-friendly lunch boxes:

  • Try freezing a carton of shelf safe milk the night before, so it will be just the right temperature when it’s lunchtime.
  • Dips are fun at lunch.  Baby carrots with hummus.  Celery sticks in peanut butter.  Apples in fruit yogurt. Pretzels in cheese dip. Yum!
  • Let kids select their own lunch box.  Bento boxes are fun, with lots of little compartments for different healthy treats.
  • Kids will be running faster on the playground when well fueled. Make sure their lunch is protein-packed!
  • For the super picky eater, try putting cereal in their lunch box, along with a carton of shelf safe milk and some fruit.  It’s breakfast for lunch!
  • Make lunches colorful to attract attention.  Like wraps with red or green flatbreads, filled with colorful veggies and cheese.
  • Every now and then, tuck a note or a silly cartoon in  kids’ lunch boxes to make them smile.
  • Use a large cookie cutter to make sandwiches into fun shapes.   Or cut into bite sized squares to be eaten with a toothpick.

For more great lunch box ideas, visit Snacks Unleashed; and ways to get your kids to drink more milk.   Every month, Milk Unleashed offers great tips for families who want to eat healthier.

 
Image credit: Ben+Sam

 

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britdavis's picture
I haven't been in High School since 2004 and haven't eaten a school lunch since long before then. I am so glad to see that there is another alternative to taking a FUN and HEALTHY lunch and not to rely on what the school will provide. I personally have no kids myself but if and when I do, I would hope that school lunches will have come along by then. I also like how these tips are good for adults as well! Great tips. Thanks!

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