FitBit September 2018
10 Tips for Packing a Healthy and Safe School Lunch
- Involve kids in preparing their lunch. This can help kids learn about different foods and may make them more willing to try something new! For tips on age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen, refer to this guide at UnlockFood.
- Wash hands before preparing meals and snacks. Teach your children to wash their hands before eating.
- Cut up fresh vegetables and fruit in advance, pack in containers and store in the fridge to make preparing healthy lunches quicker and easier.
- Have a variety of container sizes to help cut down on plastic sandwich or snack bag use.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Use an icepack or frozen reusable water bottle in an insulated lunch bag. Use a thermos for hot foods by adding boiling water to it for a few minutes, remove the water and then add in the steaming hot food.
- Ensure each snack has at least two food groups from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide. For example, try raw vegetables with hummus or plain yogurt with fresh fruit.
- When making lunch, include all four food groups. For example: whole grain tortilla wrap with cheddar cheese, left over roasted chicken or bean spread, spinach and bell pepper slices.
- Pack the amount of food for morning snack and lunch your child would normally eat at home. Be sure to check in and adjust what you are packing if needed. If your child brings home leftovers regularly, or if their lunch is always finished, it may be a good time to check in.
- Don’t forget about drinks! Use reusable bottles to pack water to take everyday. You can also provide plain milk (1%, 2% or skim) or plain fortified soy beverage.
- Remember that food allergies, including peanut and tree nut allergies are common in schools. Check your school’s policy to see if any foods cannot be included in your child’s lunch. Remember, these can be eaten at home before or after school instead!
Adapted from UnlockFood.ca.
For more information on school lunches, sandwich and “lunch kit” suggestions, check out our resource School Lunch Your Kids Will Munch!