As school gets ready to start in Garner, NC many are scrambling to buy school supplies and school clothes. But it is also time to start thinking about how to pack a healthy school lunch. When shopping for school lunch food, try to buy the rainbow of foods in your supermarket’s produce department.
Include foods that are:
- red (red peppers, apples, tomatoes),
- orange (carrots, peaches),
- green (salad, celery sticks)
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation suggests including one serving of vegetables or salad and one serving of fruit (fresh, canned or dried all count); one serving of a low-fat or fat-free milk or dairy item
- low-fat cheese stick,
- a yogurt cup,
- or some cottage cheese;
Plus one serving of meat, chicken, fish, eggs, peanut butter, beans or another protein source.
Pack healthy drinks such as water, low-fat milk or 100% juice with no added sugar. Beverages boxes frozen the night before can keep a lunchbox cool until lunchtime. Don’t send soda or energy drinks. These are filled with sugar, empty calories and provide little or no nutrition.
Sandwiches can be made on whole wheat bread, pita, wraps or flatbreads.
Traditional luncheon meats are high in fat and sodium. When choosing luncheon meats; pick lean meats like turkey, ham or leftover chicken breast. Use reduced fat mayo or salad dressing or mustard to dress a sandwich and top with mixed greens or spinach for extra nutrients.
To all of you in our apartments in Garner, NC, who have kids, welcome back to school! If you have any great school lunch ideas, share them with us.