5 Simple School Lunch Tips

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Can you believe its already back to school time? Most of us are in a major time crunch in the morning trying to get everyone ready, fed and out the door on time.  Packing a healthy lunch can prove to be challenging and time consuming.  Here are 5 simple ideas to help keep you sane during the morning rush.

* Purchasing the lunchbox and water bottle

Start off the back to school season by purchasing a good lunch box/bag and re-useable containers for food and drinks.  I always let my kids pick out a new lunch box and water bottle each year.  They are always excited to tote it around and show their friends when they get to school.

* Keep it simple

You don’t have to be super creative or go over the top to make a perfect lunch. Kids actually like consistency and don’t mind repetition. Feed them what they like, even if it doesn’t seem like a typical lunch.  My daughter’s favorite food is pasta, so I try to create different types of pasta salads using whole wheat pasta and a variety of veggies, cheese and sauces.

* Think Food Categories

When you are filling their lunch box think of completing food categories like protein, fiber, calcium and fruit/veggie.  Try to pack one of each category in each lunch.  Be sure you make WHOLE food choices, avoid processed foods.  Whenever possible feed your children “real food” instead of packaged food.  The more variety of color in your food the better.

* Plan Ahead

Spend some time on the weekend planning out what you will be packing for lunch each day.  Include your dinners to keep yourself organized for the week. Teach your kids traffic light eating and then ask them to go to the grocery store with you to pick out food in all colors of the rainbow. Try new foods and recipes on the weekend and when they are “approved” they can be included in week day lunches. Include healthy dinner leftovers for lunch to add variety and make your life easier.

* Don’t forget water

Don’t underestimate the importance of WATER.  Kids don’t get enough water during the day and they are usually running around, playing hard and even sweating.  They need to replace fluid lost which is about 1oz of fluid per pound of body weight.  Drinking water is a really good habit to start early.  I send my kids with a bottle of water in addition to any drink I include.

Melanie Meixner is San Clemente mom of two young girls and a Dr. Sears Certified L.E.A.N Coach. Her two picky eaters inspired her to learn more about nutrition and ways she could get creative with healthy food. If you are interested in learning more, contact Melanie about her L.E.A.N workshops, where you too can learn ways to foster a healthy lifestyle for your family.  Melanie can be reached at melanie.mexiner@gmail.com.

[Lunchbox in graphic from Pottery Barn Kids]

2 Comments

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  1. 1

    Wonderful lunch packing tips! I especially love the idea of thinking in food categories! Its so important to get a wide array of foods at each meal. Fiber-rich foods in particular seem to be ones that are often left out and are SO important for overall health.

    • 2
      Jen says:

      And the colors of the rainbow reminder was helpful too!

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