Packing In Good Nutrition

Back to school means back to packing lunches. Knowing the right balance of foods can help make sure kids are eating healthy away from home.

“A big assumption parents make is that kids are eating everything in their lunch bags,” says Amy Tella, R.D., dietitian at Gwinnett Medical Center. “They tend to overpack lunches.”
Getting kids involved in packing their lunches is one way to make sure they’ll eat everything. “This starts with the trip to the grocery store and asking your kids what they’re in the mood for,” Tella says. Variety also is important, so get in one item from each food group. “Try turkey on whole wheat and cheese, fruit, and carrots with a ranch dressing dipping sauce,” she suggests.

Treats also have their place in your child’s lunch. “If they want a treat, give them an occasional treat,” Tella says. “You don’t have to shy away from it. Remember, you can control the portions.”

Finally, there’s no rule that lunchtime for kids can’t be fun. “Slip a note into your child’s lunchbox—make it fun,” she says.

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