Published on August 17, 2016

5 tips for packing a better lunch box

Make a healthy lunch your child will eat!

August is "Kids Eat Right" month and school is just around the corner. If you are packing a lunch for your child, follow these tips for packing a nutritious lunch that your kids will actually eat!

  1. Let your child help: Let them pick out a fruit or vegetable at the grocery store that they want to try. You can also ask your child to help make or pack their lunch.
  2. Make it fun: Give a fruit or veggie a fun nickname. In one study, consumption of carrots in a cafeteria almost doubled when they were labeled as "x-ray vision carrots." If you're feeling ambitious you can use a cookie cutter to cut out fruits, vegetable or sandwiches.
  3. Finger foods: Finger foods break the meal down into manageable pieces. Fruits are far less likely to be wasted if they are chopped up into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Dips: Dips contain fats, which can help your child absorb vitamins from the vegetables they are eating. If you are faced with the choice of not eating a vegetable or eating vegetables with dip, we chose vegetables with dip!
  5. Balance: Include 3-5 foods groups, with at least 1 fruit or vegetable, to make a balanced meal. Refer to the chart below for ways build a healthy and delicious meal. Remember to include a beverage such as water, milk or 100% juice.
Bread Spread Protein Vegetables Fruit
Whole wheat bread Guacamole Ham Carrots Apple slices
Soft and smooth whole grain bread Mayonnaise Turkey Broccoli pieces Strawberries
Pita pockets Hummus Mozzarella cheese Peppers Bananas
English muffins Cream cheese Tuna Lettuce Pineapple rings
Minibagels Yogurt Cheddar cheese Cucumbers Dried fruit
Whole wheat Tortillas Salad dressing Provolone cheese Cherry tomatoes Blueberries
Whole-grain crackers Apple butter Chicken Snap peas Sliced melon
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Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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