Back to School, Back to Packing Lunches

Agnesian HealthCare Work and Wellness
Fresh healthy nutritious ham sandwich and apple with schoolbag and note from mum

Fresh healthy nutritious ham sandwich and apple with schoolbag and note from mom

Written by: Tara Schmitz, Wellness Coordinator, Agnesian Work & Wellness

Breakfast has always been said to be the most important meal of the day, but that doesn’t mean we should forget about the importance of lunch. A healthy lunch provides the fuel for our children’s brains and bodies for the rest of the day. Lunch time choices have a large impact on daily and weekly totals for saturated fat, fiber, sugar, and sodium. Childhood obesity rates on the rise, emphasizing the importance of healthy meal time options. Packing school lunches allows you to have a better idea of the nutrients your child is getting on a daily basis.  Here are a few tips to packing a healthier lunch!

  1. Have the right supplies: a divided lunch container, ice packs, and an insulated lunch bag is essential for packing a healthy lunch. Have your child help pick out these supplies; it will get them more excited about their lunches.
  2. Keep it interesting:
    1. Try different types of breads, wraps, and pita pockets that are whole wheat.
    2. Swap out the cheese and mayo for hummus or avocado.
    3. Baked or grilled chicken can be a great alternative to traditional lunch meat.
  3. Don’t forget the veggies: getting kids to eat fruit typically isn’t a problem, but veggies can be a little more difficult. Try veggies like carrots, celery, sweet pepper strips, or cucumbers to dip into fresh hummus, salsa, or a Greek yogurt based dip.
  4. Get them involved: from picking out their lunch container to what’s going in it. Kids that help pack their lunch are more likely to eat it! Before going grocery shopping sit down with your little one and have them choose a fruit, veggie, and type of whole grain bread they want for the week. Then you can fill in the gaps if needed for a balanced lunch.
Packing school lunch doesn’t have to be stressful. Planning ahead and getting your kids involved can make all the difference. Keep the focus of your child’s lunch on fun, bright colors, fun shapes, and variety will ensure their lunch goes straight to their stomach instead of the trash!

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