Although a packed lunch can be a healthy alternative to cafeteria food, making sure all those required vitamins and minerals squeeze into that brown bag can be a challenge. Pack the wrong foods, and a brown bag lunch can be as unhealthy as the hot lunch counter. Whether your child wants to pack lunch every day or just on mystery meat Mondays, there are a few things to consider when they forgo the cafeteria fare.
Make it Nutritious
To ensure that your child has ample fuel to power through those long classes, make sure they are eating a wide variety of foods from the major food groups. Use the Food Guide Pyramid as a guide to make sure you're covering all the bases. Here are some tips on making lunchtime nutritious:
Make it Delicious
Even if you did pack a cottage-cheese-stuffed bell pepper and a bran muffin, that doesn't necessarily mean that it made its way to your child's tummy. This lunch might please your palate, but younger taste buds aren't generally so adventurous. And if they don't like it, they probably won't eat it-especially if you're not around. The best way to ensure that lunch ends up where it should is to recruit some help when packing it. Research shows kids enjoy food more if they've helped in its preparation. Besides letting them chop and bag, there are many ways to get them involved:
Thinking Outside the Lunch Box
Packing a Nutritious Lunch that Your Child Will Eat
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