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NOURISH

Back-to-school lunch box tips

Children who eat nourishing foods do better in school, but coming up with healthy back-to-school lunch ideas that children will actually eat can be a challenge. 

A healthy school lunch should combine nutrient-rich foods from several food groups to supply the protein, fat and carbohydrates needed to sustain a child's energy and concentration for several hours. Here are some tips for healthy, balanced and easy back-to-school lunches to save you time and stress: 

  • Involve your children in planning, shopping for and preparing lunches. A child who helps is more likely to actually eat his or her lunch.
  • During each shopping trip, encourage each child to pick out a new fruit or vegetable he or she is curious about or hasn't yet tried. Kids are more likely to try a new food if they picked it.
  • Plan your meals for the week on Sundays. Eventually, you may become so good at it you'll be able to plan lunches for two weeks at a time.
  • Prepare and keep pre-portioned healthy snacks on hand. This makes it easier for your child to choose more healthy options plus it's a great timesaver for busy parents.
  • Keep in mind the age of your child: younger kids like colorful foods in different shapes and sizes. Pre-teens and teens choose foods that fit "what's in style" or the newest trend.
  • Time for lunch is often limited, plus kids use this time to socialize. So, keep things simple and easy to eat.
  • Keep it positive: write a few inspiring words on your child's napkin to get him or her through the rest of the day. It could be as simple as "Have a good day!" or "I love you!" or a note to remind them you are picking them up after school.

Variety is a key to planning delicious, balanced and healthy lunches. Download this printable Healthy Lunch Builder for Kids and keep it on your fridge all year long to keep the focus on making healthy choices!

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