Healthy Packed Lunches Safe Packing
Healthy Packed Lunches
Prepackaged lunches for kids are popular and convenient, but they're also expensive and often less
than nutritious. Instead, create your own packable lunch using healthier ingredients. Consider these
components and pack them in plastic containers, re-sealable plastic bags, or colorful plastic wrap:
--Cold-cut roll ups (lean, low-fat turkey, ham, or roast beef with low-fat cheese on whole
wheat tortillas)
--Cold pizza (shredded 2% mozzarella cheese with pizza sauce on a whole wheat tortilla,
whole wheat pita, or English muffin, or bagel)
--Cracker sandwiches (whole-grain crackers filled with low-fat cream cheese or peanut
butter and jelly)
--Peanut butter and celery sticks
--Veggie sticks with low-fat dip or dressing or salsa
--Fresh fruit, fruit cups (packed in juice or water), or small serving dried fruit
--100% fruit juice box (8 oz) or bottle of water
--Skim, 1%, or 2% milk cartons (tetra-pack)
--Optional dessert (choose one): flavored gelatin, low-fat pudding, oatmeal raisin cookie,
graham crackers, fresh fruit
Be sure to check with the school to make sure that there aren't any restrictions on what kids can pack
in their lunches. And don't forget to involve your kids in the process so that healthier lunches can
become a goal they strive for, too.
Safe Packing
A packed lunch carries the added responsibility of keeping the food safe to eat. That means keeping
hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Here are some suggestions to keep lunch foods safe:
--Wash your hands first.
--Use a heat-safe thermos for hot foods.
--Use cold packs or freeze some foods and drinks overnight. They'll thaw in the
lunchbox/bag by lunchtime.
--Wash out insulated lunch boxes or lunch bags every day.
--Toss in some moist towelettes to remind kids to wash their hands before eating and to
clean up after.
Lunch Make-Overs
Instead of:
High fat lunch meats (bologna, corned beef,
Lower-fat meats and fish, such as turkey,
salami, sausage/wieners,etc.)
chicken, tuna packed in water, lean ham
White bread
Whole grain breads/rolls (whole wheat, oat,
Light mayonnaise, mustard
Fried Chips and snacks
Baked chips, air-popped popcorn, trail mix, raw
veggies and low fat dip
Fruit in syrup
Fresh fruit or fruit in natural juice
Cookies and snack cakes
Trail mix, low fat and light yogurts, or homemade
baked goods such as oatmeal cookies or fruit
Fruit drinks, sweetened beverages
100% juice (8 oz), low fat milk, water
Adapted from:
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