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!
- Pick a Protein: Choose cut up chicken breast, turkey, ham, hard boiled eggs, nuts, seeds or beans.
- Add a Rainbow of Veggies: Bright colors signify higher nutrient value.
- 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.
- Serve a Small Portion of Starch: Whole grains are the best option and include wheat bread, wild rice, popcorn, oatmeal, crackers and sweet potato.
- Switch Up the Sandwich: Get creative and try out wraps, mini bagels, meat & cheese roll-ups, cracker sandwiches or mini muffins.
- 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.
- Finish with Fruits: Fresh, frozen or canned in 100% juice, fruits add sweetness and are packed with vitamins and minerals.
- 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.
- Sit and plan lunches with the kids and encourage them to pack their own lunch.
- Celebrate special days and plan menus around special events like birthdays, Valentine’s Day or Halloween.
- Invest in fun lunch containers and make sure kids can open the containers easily.
- Pay attention to eye appeal, kids are more likely to eat foods that look colorful or are in fun shapes or containers.