When time isn’t on your side, the cafeteria may be the only option for lunch. Breathe easy—healthy options can be made at school! Encourage your family to follow similar tips for filling lunchboxes when they are in the lunch line at school:
1. Choose whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to fill most of your plate. These provide nutrients for energy and have fiber to help keep you full.
2. Choose a low-fat dairy option like skim chocolate milk, yogurt, or string cheese. With protein, calcium, and carbohydrates these are great snacks to stay fueled and focused for the rest of the school day.
3. Include a protein source like chicken, hamburger, turkey, or eggs to stay full until your afternoon snack.
4. Go easy on packaged foods like cookies and candy since they are higher in added sugar and can lead to an energy spike– followed by big drop. This can lead to poor performance in the classroom!
5. If lunch is from the cafeteria, focus on making home-prepared meals (breakfast, dinner, and snacks) full of quality foods like lean meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy. Make the meals you can create quality ones!
6. Get your family involved in cooking meals and preparing their lunches. This can help encourage them to eat what they bring and help make better choices when they eat at school!