Because of a growing problem with obesity in children, the government has been cracking down on schools and the food they offer for lunch. However, the most effective way to know your child is eating a healthy, balanced lunch is to pack their lunches for them. Here are ten ways to pack healthier school lunches:
1. Choose Low-Fat Meats
A lunchmeat sandwich is a staple in most lunch boxes. But, have you looked at a package of salami, corned beef, beef bologna, or pastrami lately? The fat content in these lunchmeats is high! To give your children less fat and less calories in their school lunches, choose lunchmeats such as turkey, chicken, and low-fat bologna.
2. Real Juice Is the Best
There are many fruit drinks on the store shelves today. The word “fruit” itself sounds like the drink is healthy. But when you read the product labels, many brands of drinks contain little, if any, real fruit juice. To pack a healthier school lunch for your children, be sure you choose fruit drinks such as Juicy JuiceÃ¢Â?Â¢ or real orange juice. Juicy Juice, for example, is made from
“100% real fruit juice.” It contains “no added sugars, sweeteners, preservatives or artificial flavors.”
Another way to pack a healthier school lunch is to place the fruit juice container in the freezer overnight. Then, place the frozen container in your child’s lunchbox along with their food. The ice will help keep your child’s foods cool. And don’t worry, it will thaw out by lunchtime!
3. Go Light on the Cheese
A slice of cheese on a lunchmeat sandwich is a favorite for children and adults alike. Cheese is a valuable source of calcium and protein for your children’s school lunches. But it’s high in fat content as well. When you shop for cheese, look for low-fat varieties. Or, instead of putting cheese on your child’s sandwich, replace it with some healthier lettuce or tomato slices instead.
4. Find Substitutes For Greasy, Fried Snacks
When you pack your children’s lunches, it’s easy to toss a small bag of potato chips, cheesies, or corn chips into a lunchbox. Manufacturers make and sell these single-serving bags because they are convenient to use. A healthier choice for your children’s school lunches is to choose small bags of pretzels or popcorn instead. Or, save money by buying large bags of snacks that are good for your children. Then, use plastic bags to give your children single servings.
5. Liven Up Dull Veggies
If you say the words “celery” or “carrot” to your children, they’ll probably wrinkle up their noses. But, if you spread peanut butter in a piece of celery and sprinkle it with a few raisins, your children will probably “chow” the treat down! Or, place chunks of fresh veggies such as zucchini, cucumber, and broccoli onto a straw to make “Veggie Kabobs.” Pack a container of Ranch Dressing in their lunches to use as a tasty dip.
6. Turn Fruits Into “Treats”
Cut fruits into finger-sized cubes and pack a container of healthy yogurt along for dipping them in. Your children will love them! Or, pack dried fruits in your children’s school lunches for healthier meals. You can also peel and cut fresh fruits into fun shapes too!
7. Nix the White Bread
Most children love to eat white bread. White bread isn’t the most nutritious choice, though. Instead of white bread, try using whole-grain pita pockets when you pack your children’s school lunches. Or, buy bread that looks like white, but it’s actually made with whole grains. WonderÃ¢Â?Â¢ Whole Grain White Bread is an excellent product! It looks like regular white bread, it’s soft like white, yet it contains healthier whole grains.