As you settle into that new school routine, is sending your kids to school with a healthy lunch part of yours? If packing your kids a lunch isn't something you’re use to doing David Egerdahl, a Registered Dietician with UCHealth Memorial has a few tips to make it as simple as possible to pack and healthy lunch. He also says even if you kids buy lunch there are ways you can encourage them to make the best choice possible from the cafeteria.
"You can't be by their side all the time, so the key to getting your kids to eat healthy is finding a compelling reason why (they should), perhaps they are into sports and that is their motivation for eating healthy. Perhaps it’s academics and you help them understand that certain foods will help them perform better in academics.”
If you do pack lunch for your kids, what should be in it? Egerdahl says "Some kind of meat or protein you can do a lean deli meat. You also want something high grain, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is perfect, but for older kids it may not provide the sustenance they need, but for younger kids they are pretty good. Milk is another thing, kids are growing so milk and dairy is always a good thing. Also you will want a fruit and a vegetable in there. To balance it out they will probably want something sweet so put something in there to get them through the day."
If taking the time to pack a healthy lunch is what is holding you back, Egerdahl says a little organization can go along way. "I recommend on Sunday night prepping out, 5 little baggies of carrots, 5 apples or whatever, and then having that ready for them. Then the work is done they just have to grab it and go, you’re not doing that every morning while trying to rush that kid to school.”
Finally, make sure you are packing that lunch, in a lunchbox that is insulated, with something in there to keep the food cold. That will mean it's safe, and healthy for your kids and will taste better. Here's to a safe, successful, and healthy school year.