Back to School: Nutrition Tips for the Lunchbox

Do you know what your kids are eating for lunch at school?

It’s back to school season! You may have already purchased your child’s school supplies and a few new outfits, but have you thought about their lunches? Good nutrition is crucial for growth and development, and children need a healthy filling lunch to help boost their energy and concentration levels in the afternoon.

Most kids have the option of bringing their lunch or purchasing food in the school cafeteria. A lunch from home isn’t necessarily always the healthier option, but many schools now serve pre-packaged foods that are high in fat, calories and sodium. Lunch boxes have also gotten more sophisticated over the years thanks to freezer packs that can help keep foods cold until lunch time!

Should you decide to pack your child’s lunch, here are a few healthy suggestions to get you going:

  • Make sandwiches with whole-grain bread rather than white bread for extra fiber
  • Lean meat such as sliced turkey lunch meat is a good source of protein
  • Veggies such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes or celery sticks are easy to pack and fun for kids to eat
  • Apple slices, grapes, mandarin oranges or a banana make great healthy desserts
  • Low-fat yogurt in individual serving containers or kid-friendly squeeze tubes provide calcium
  • Sodas and juices are high in sugar, making water the beverage of choice
  • Sweet treats like cookies or candies should be kept to a minimum

Some kids enjoy variety in their lunches while others like to eat the same things day in and day out. Whatever your child’s preference, make sure they are involved in the lunch packing process each day. If they have some say in the matter, chances are better that they will actually eat the foods!

Are you concerned about your family’s eating habits? Ask your doctor for dietary advice at your next appointment. Denton Regional Medical Center can even help you find a physician with our Physician Search. If you need a physician referral, please call 1.855.477.DRMC.

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