Packing Quick Healthy Lunches

Summer is coming to an end, and kids and teachers are returning to the classrooms. Therefore, it’s getting the mindset of everyday routine and marks the beginning of packing school lunches. With a little planning, imagination, and feedback from your child, you can pack a lunch that they will enjoy. Whether your child enjoys school lunches, or you decide to pack your child’s lunch instead, it’s important to provide a nutrient-packed meal that will fuel their bodies and brains.

Stock up on convenient lunch foods for the week. Make sure you have plenty of small sandwich bags, reusable containers, plastic spoons and forks, and freezer packs to keep foods and beverages cool. Packing lunch does not have to be a laborious task.

Tips for a successful lunch:

  • Prep the night before.
  • Get your kids involved, when kids play a role in planning and preparing, they are more likely to eat them.
  • Lunch should provide you with 1/3 of your daily nutritional needs.
  • Try to include at least three of the five food groups.
  • Choose whole grains
  • Choose grilled chicken or turkey, egg whites, or lean meats.
  • Pack fruit or veggies with low calorie-dressing.
  • Avoid high-calorie beverages and drink water.
  • Remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
  • Don’t leave perishable foods at room temperature for more than two hours.

There are many other foods that are safe to pack without refrigeration. These foods could include peanut butter, whole wheat bread, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, unopened cans of fruit and pudding, pretzels, crackers, bottled 100% juices, and canned meat, and chicken that can be opened and eaten immediately.

Kid-friendly lunch recipe: Turkey Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 2 flour tortillas
  • 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • 2 slices thinly sliced turkey
  • ½ cup shredded lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheese

Instructions:

Lay out tortillas. Spread with mayonnaise. Layer turkey slice, lettuce, and cheese onto tortillas. Roll up and wrap. Makes 2 servings.

This article is written by Markaye Russell, Area Nutrition Agent, Ouachita, and Union Parishes. This article is referenced by LSU AgCenter, University of Arkansas, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service and North Carolina Extension Service.

8/15/2022 8:01:27 PM
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