Lunch Box Basics
What makes a healthy lunch? You want your child to have a nutrient packed, fun, and easy lunch but may not know where to start. Here are the top three things you should focus on and include in every lunch box.
A protein source should always be included in a lunch box. Protein is the building block for growth of muscles and the brain. Protein sources include beef, chicken, turkey, fish, pork, beans, nuts, eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. Choose low fat and lean products from the protein choices above. A protein serving is equal to :
2 tablespoons nut butter, 2-3 ounces of lean lunch meat, 1 cup low fat milk, 6 ounces yogurt, 2 ounces cheese or 1 egg.
Calcium contributes to building strong bones. A child reaches the majority of their bone density by the age of 18. Providing your child with calcium rich foods such as milk, yogurt and cheese will provide a solid foundation for them and help them build strong bones. Look for ready to eat yogurts, milk boxes or include cheese sticks or slices with sandwiches or crackers. Choose low fat and skim fat versions of dairy and purchase organic when possible.
Fruit or Vegetables
Crunchy, crispy and sweet these vitamin, mineral and fiber packed sides are an added bonus to a healthy lunch. Try whole fruits, dried fruits, fruit salad or canned (no sugar added) fruits. Other options include the packs of applesauce that kids can easily squeeze into their mouths and frozen kid size edamame. Cut up fruits and vegetables to make it easier for a child to eat.
Lunch is usually a highlight of a school day. This break in the day represents a time when kids can relax, refuel and reconnect with their friends. Packing a lunch with protein, calcium and fruit and/or vegetables is a great way to balance a school day and help them reach a higher level of performance throughout the rest of the day.
For fun recipe ideas order Take Out Recipes kids edition boxes at www.ABCDEatRight.com
For nutrition advice from a Registered and Licensed Dietitian contact Brandi@ABCDEatRight.com
If you are in South Florida and you would like a 1 hour grocery tour to break down the basics and guide you in adult or child related nutrition needs contact Brandi@ABCDEatRight.com.