Think About Balance When Packing Lunches

I think it is common to start off the year excited and motivated about back to school and packing healthy, creative lunches, but I noticed that our family has gotten in a lunch box slump lately.

The best way to approach packing a lunch, and really to eating in general, is to think about balance. I encourage clients to think about trying to get some healthy whole grain carbs, some lean protein, and a fruit or vegetable and to avoid high sugar, high sodium processed foods at each meal. Those same concepts apply to packed lunches and after school snacks- with the snacks being smaller balanced versions.

Use the list below to give you some ideas of what you could include. Involve your child and give them choices as much as possible. Try to throw in one item from each of these categories.

Fruits: strawberries, grapes, cantaloupe, watermelon, mandarin oranges, any canned fruit packed in its own juice, applesauce, and dried fruit.
Vegetable: baby carrots, celery, edamame, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, grape tomatoes, & tossed salad,
Dairy: string cheese, cubed cheese, yogurt, fruit & veggie dips, & yogurt parfaits
Protein: rolled deli meat and cheese, tuna salad, chicken salad, beans, nuts, eggs
Grains: pasta salad, whole wheat bread, whole wheat tortillas, Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies, pretzels, Triscuits or Wheat Thins, homemade granola bars

We are in the home stretch of the 2014-2015 school year. Let’s finish strong by packing our kids tasty, healthy lunches we can feel good about and our kids will enjoy!