Let’s Make Lunch

“I’m tired of this. I don’t like that.” Just weeks into the new school year, are you hearing these statements about school lunch? What to pack for lunch at school is a dilemma many parents face each fall.

Parents who chose to send their kids to school with a lunch packed at home have several considerations to make, like food safety, healthy and balanced meals and well-liked foods. Consider these tips from www.extension.org to help ensure a healthy, safe and tasty lunch:

•    Make a list, with the input of your kids, of all the food options your child will eat. Organize the list by food groups. Then add a second column to your list and indicate whether or not that item needs to be kept cold. If it does, then be sure your child has an insulated lunch box and include a frozen gel pack, juice box or bottle of water.
•    Let your kids help choose what will go into their lunch, whether that’s from your cupboards at home or at the store. Try to include a variety of whole grains and foods naturally low in fat and added sugar.
•    Have plenty of snack- and sandwich-size plastic zip bags or reusable containers on hand.
•    Ask kids to pick and pack at least one serving from each of the five food groups.

Use packing lunch as an opportunity to talk about nutrition, health and the importance of variety. Check in with your kids every once in a while to see if they’re packing the right amounts of food or if they’d like some different food choices.

Have a great fall and happy munching at lunch!

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