Home > Food > School Lunches > Brown Bag Lunches
|
Better Brown Bag Lunches
See also: Vitamins and Minerals: An Essential Part of Every Child's Diet
Healthy Eating Strategies
Understanding Balance and Moderation

You want to pack a lunch that's nutritious. Your child wants one that's fun and tastes good. Use these tips to make both of you happy. Then, try our Healthy Lunch Box Builder tool to see if your child is meeting his daily nutritional needs.

Start with variety. Try to pack something from each of the food groups in every lunch. Vary your choices and keep it interesting.

Feature favorites. Ask your child to make a list of favorites from each of the food groups, and rely on this for the basics.

Sandwich surprises. Go beyond peanut butter and jelly. Try low-fat lunch meats, cheeses, grilled vegetables and chicken, tuna and egg salads (extra points for using less or low-fat mayonnaise). And try not-so basic breads like bagels, rolls, pitas and English muffins. (Use whole-grain varieties wherever possible.)

Non-sandwich selections. Include pasta salad made with fun-shaped, tri-colored pasta. Create a mini-pizza on a tortilla or pita. Roll meat and cheese slices in a tortilla and slice into pinwheels.

Milk and more. Send milk money with your child each day. Otherwise, pack a Thermos. Choose cheese in all its forms: wedges, cubes and sticks. And yogurt and pudding cups are always appreciated for dessert.

Deluxe dips. Baby carrots, celery sticks, red and green pepper rings, zucchini wheels and cucumber slices are good, and even better when dipped in low-fat ranch dressing, salsa or hummus (chick pea dip). The fun continues with fruit. Sliced apples and pears, strawberries or grapes are all great dipped in any flavor of yogurt.

Pack a punch. Slip a surprise and a little love into lunches. Kids love an all-round lunch with foods that are all circles. An all-red lunch could feature spaghetti, red grapes, strawberry-flavored milk and red fruit leather. Backwards lunches include sandwiches with meat and cheese around a slice of bread and instructions (written in reverse?) to eat dessert first. Try cutting sandwiches into puzzle pieces or little circles.

Keep it hot and cool. For safety's sake, make sure hot foods stay hot and cold foods stay cold. Use an insulated lunch bag or kid-sized cooler. Include an ice pack or make one out of a frozen bottle of water or 100% juice box. A Thermos keeps soups, casseroles and chili hot and delicious.

|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Top 10 Holiday Gifts for Teachers
Offer a genuine "thank you" to your child's teacher halfway through the school year. Give one of these extra-nice holiday gifts for teachers.

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Top Family Movies in Theaters for the Holidays
Taking the kids to the movies is a special family treat for the holidays! Don't miss 2014's best family films in theaters from Thanksgiving through Christmas.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!