Brown Baggin’ It

Your kid can have the coolest lunch box in the cafeteria, but filling it with unhealthy lunch choices is not doing them any favors.

Start your kids off right this school year by packing school lunches with nutritious foods that taste good. Instead of a sandwich on white bread, bag of chips and cookies, try these better choices for your child’s lunch box.

  • Make wraps with whole wheat tortillas using either lean meats or low fat cream cheese topped with veggie slices. Even the classic PB&J is healthier in a wheat wrap.
  • Substitute high-fat potato chips or cheese snacks with baked chips or pretzels.
  • Spray air-popped popcorn with a little butter-flavored topping, then coat it with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
  • Use low fat cheese cubes and seedless grapes as an easy side dish for sandwiches or wraps.
  • Include a little protein with cold strips of grilled chicken and honey mustard sauce for dipping.

Try these suggestions for keeping lunches nutritious:

  • Involve your kids in the grocery shopping. Give them specific choices such as, “Would you like celery with peanut butter, a bunch of grapes, string cheese or baby carrots?” Your kids will be more likely to eat healthy snacks if they had a role in selecting them.
  • Post a list of healthy snack and lunch ideas on your fridge so you won’t be stumped for ideas during the morning rush.
  • Try to pack lunch the night before. You won’t feel as rushed, so you’ll have time to wash and chop veggies or fruit instead of just tossing a cookie in the bag.
  • Keep some convenience foods on hand, like string cheese, applesauce or yogurt for times when you’re running late.

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