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17 Healthy Lunch Ideas

Making the right choice - Healthy School Lunches

Recently there have been widespread changes throughout the United States to make lunch choices in schools healthier. Due to the growing population of obese children, what has been called an epidemic; there has been a huge push towards making healthy options available for kids at lunch. It has started as early as elementary school and continued through high schools. In an effort to promote long—term health there have been many campaigns to make changes. The Child Nutrition Bill was signed in order to provide more money to schools to subside lunches and to make sure that kids are getting the healthy futures they deserve. The USDA has began a push to cut down on trans fats, salt, and calories and also increase the amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products offered. The goal is to encourage children to start eating healthy at a young age and make sure they know the importance of nutrition. The main concern is the health impacts that obesity and unhealthy eating cause. The government knows that it is important that the food still tastes good as well. They want to make sure that children don’t start bringing unhealthy lunches to school or skipping meals because they do not like them. So while they are cutting back on the unhealthy foods they are still packing a lot of flavor with new recipes. There are also ways you as a parent can help your child. If you are packing your child’s lunch make sure to make healthy choices for them and choose healthy after school snacks as well. It is important to make sure that your child isn’t only eating healthy during school lunches but at home as well.

Making Healthy Choices:

  • Choose wheat bread over white
  • Use fruits and vegetables in creative ways
  • Choose less starchy foods
  • Choose water or milk over sodas and sugary juices
  • Try to avoid processed foods they tend to have higher sodium and fats
  • Keep the food pyramid in mind to make sure there is a good balance of food groups

Lunch Ideas and Tips:

  • Make your own lunchables with sandwich meat, whole grain crackers, and low fat cheese
  • Make a wrap — use a healthy tortilla and fill the inside with sandwich meat or chicken, veggies, and low fat cheese.
  • Cut up fruits and vegetables into slices so it is easier for your child to snack on
  • Instead of packing a typical dessert like a cookie replace it with trail mix or a chocolate chip granola bar
  • Low fat yogurt — you can add raisins, berries, or granola in for additional flavor
  • Pack raw cut veggies with their preferred dipping accompaniment — make sure to choose low fat or light options if it’s a dressing
  • Make a sandwich fun by cutting it into different shapes

Be Eco Friendly:

  • Pack your child’s lunch in a reusable bag
  • Use washable lunch bags for easy clean up and a longer life use
  • Use a BPA free water bottle vs. plastic bottles of water
  • Pack lunches with reusable containers instead of multiple plastic baggies
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Healthy School Lunches
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