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Wellness

Published on March 07, 2019

How to Pack a Healthy Lunch

Whether you’re packing lunches for kids or yourself, you should feel good about selecting wholesome foods and healthy portion sizes. Plus, you’ll save money if you pack a lunch instead of going out to eat. Here are our suggestions for packing a healthy lunch!

  1. Pick a Protein: Choose cut up chicken breast, turkey, ham, hard boiled eggs, nuts, seeds or beans.
  2. Add a Rainbow of Veggies: Bright colors signify higher nutrient value.
  3. Include a Calcium Source: Calcium his helps to build strong bones and teeth. Yogurt, cheese, almond and soy milk, unflavored cow’s milk and low-fat pudding are all calcium sources.
  4. Serve a Small Portion of Starch: Whole grains are the best option and include wheat bread, wild rice, popcorn, oatmeal, crackers and sweet potato.
  5. Switch Up the Sandwich: Get creative and try out wraps, mini bagels, meat & cheese roll-ups, cracker sandwiches or mini muffins.
  6. Items to Dunk or Dip: Increase nutritional value in the lunchbox by choosing yogurt, peanut butter, hummus, salsa, guacamole or low-fat dressing to dip fruit, vegetables or whole grain starches.
  7. Finish with Fruits: Fresh, frozen or canned in 100% juice, fruits add sweetness and are packed with vitamins and minerals.
  8. Smart Beverage Option: Packing a healthy beverage is key.  Choose water or low-fat milk as the first option and occasionally add sugar-free choices or infused fruit water.

Tips

  1. Sit and plan lunches with the kids and encourage them to pack their own lunch.
  2. Celebrate special days and plan menus around special events like birthdays, Valentine’s Day or Halloween.
  3. Invest in fun lunch containers and make sure kids can open the containers easily.
  4. Pay attention to eye appeal, kids are more likely to eat foods that look colorful or are in fun shapes or containers.​

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