Healthy Lunch Tips for Back to School

When it comes time for kids to go back to school, there’s excitement in the air. Of course, for the person who is looking towards a year of brown-bagging lunches, the excitement may be quick to wear off. In order to make the process smoother for you and more fun for the child, here are a few healthy lunch tips for back to school you may want to try.

A healthy lunch for school is an important part of keeping your children functioning at their best during the day.

First, involve the kids. Let them help you decide what they want for lunch, asking them a few days to a week in advance. This gives you a chance to pick up the groceries you need. Let them taste new foods to be sure they like them; that way they aren’t coming home with a forgotten sandwich and missing cookies.

Second, don’t just send junk food. By talking with your child to determine what he or she likes, you get a head start on making lunches that they are going to enjoy, or helping them to make their own lunches. Look for foods that are fun, but still have nutritional value. Ants on a log are not only healthy, but also provide fun for the child receiving them. Make homemade versions of the less-than-healthy snack foods, such as slicing your own cheese, meat, and crackers as a replacement for lunchables. Look at labels to see which chips have a lower fat and sodium content. And don’t be fooled by brand names – sometimes the off-brands taste the same, are cheaper, and are healthier. Sometimes the opposite is true. Be sure to look.

Third, make sure that foods are served the way they are intended to be eaten. A thermos and freezer pack, as well as an insulated lunch box, can greatly improve the appeal of healthy foods. Who wants cold soup, soggy lettuce, and warm sandwiches? Package moist toppings separately from the sandwich bread, and let the child add those once lunch time arrives, giving them the chance to add their own personal touch. Sliced cold vegetables taste good with a little bit of dip, and if you look for a healthier dip (that the child actually likes), you may be able to get them to eat their vegetables or a salad. Leftovers can also be appetizing compared to some school lunches, so consider whether their favorite meals from home might make a good school lunch.

All in all, you can find many types of food that are not only nutritious, but also appeal to a child’s sense of fun and interest in being involved.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Healthy Weight Loss Methods for Teens”, “Low Calorie Lunch Ideas”, “Ways to Cut 100 Calories Daily” and “Talking to Your Children About Weight Loss”.

4 comments to Healthy Lunch Tips for Back to School

  • stubborn belly fat

    Awesome tips for back to school eating. I’m going to pass this along to my cousin so she can better prepare my her son’s lunches for school. Thanks again.

  • sarah parker

    I think junk food should be banned in schools and at home. If children don’t have access to junk food they will not know what they are missing and will actually crave healthier foods. When my kids were little they had little if any junk food and if you gave them the choice of peas and carrots or a bag of chips or fast food they would choose the peas and carrots. Making the right decisions come from being brought up with nutritious food choices as a child.

  • Evan Reuter

    There are many reasons why it might be right for your child to start eating a lower-fat diet. Talk with a dietitian or your doctor to decide if your child should be eating a low-fat diet. Here are some suggestions to help decrease fat in your child’s diet.

    When your child asks for a high fat food, offer a lower fat choice instead.

    Instead of regular chips try pretzels or baked chips. Instead of meat pizza offer a veggie pizza. Instead of a hamburger opt for a chicken sandwich. Instead of chicken fingers order them grilled chicken slices with plum sauce.
    Instead of french fries try baked potato wedges.
    Instead of candy try giving them dried fruit. In lieu of chocolate bars offer granola bars… Instead of ice cream buy frozen yogurt. Eating healthy starts at a young age! Give them good eating habits for life. Bad habits are so much harder to break later.

  • ObeseChild

    Not only should you pack a healthy and nutritious lunch for your child to take to school, but you should give your child low-fat snacks at home as well.

    Here are some healthy and fun snack ideas I use when my kids are home during the day.

    * Mini-pizza – Top English muffins with tomato sauce, low-fat cheese and vegetables. Bake in oven until cheese melts.

    * Fun Sandwichs – Cut any sandwich (made with whole wheat bread, low-fat cheese, lean meats, and fat-free dressings) with cookie cutters.

    * Apple smiles – Spread peanut butter onto apple wedges and use marshmallows and/or raisins for teeth.

    * Fruit smoothie – Blend low-fat yogurt, banana, juice, and ice together.

    * Banana pops – Peel banana, dip in yogurt, roll in crushed breakfast cereal, then freeze.

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