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Packing a Fresh, Nutritious Lunch for Kids

Packing a Fresh, Nutritious Lunch for Kids

Packing a Fresh, Nutritious Lunch for Kids

You may have packed the best food for your child, but if it gets too hot, too soggy or smashed, even the least picky child will probably pass it up. Make your time and money count. Follow the tips below and your lunch is more likely to be eaten and enjoyed.

  • Tuck a pre-moistened wipe or antibacterial towelette into the lunchbox to help clean little hands before they touch the food.
  1. Use sealable bags for messier lunchtime foods so spills are avoided and cleanup is easy. If the food is packed in a container that could come open, add a plastic bag over it for double protection.
  2. Pack small crackers, trail mix or other loose snack food in small plastic containers with lids, or in paper cups covered with plastic bags or pieces of foil. The cups can be brought back home in the lunchbox or thrown away.
  3. Pack lettuce and tomatoes for a sandwich in a separate bag to be added to the sandwich at lunchtime. This keeps the bread from getting soggy.
  4. Keep perishable foods cold: Freeze a box of fruit juice the night before. In the morning, place the frozen juice box in the lunchbox. It will keep the lunch cool until lunchtime, and if you pack a spoon, your child can enjoy a fruit-juice slush for dessert.
  5. Wrap a paper towel around a whole piece of fruit, such as a pear or nectarine, to keep it from bruising. The paper towel doubles as a napkin.
  6. Pack a sandwich in a hard plastic container to keep it from getting smashed. (Remind your child to bring the container home in the lunchbox afterward.)
  7. Allow your child to make peanut butter crackers at lunchtime so they'll be fresh. Fill a very small plastic container with about 2 tbsp. peanut butter. Pack a handful of your child's favorite crackers and a plastic knife or spoon. At lunchtime, your child gets to play chef.



too complicated...

marcia r. from thousand oaks ca

Our sons are way too excited to get to the playground than to have to "prepare" their food. I would love some advice on healthy ideas that kids will actually eat. Whole fruits are rarely eaten, and our sons would balk if lettuce and tomatoes were added to their sandwich!


Good ideas but. . . .

Lois B. from Massachusetts

Great ideas, except for one thing -- most elementary schools give students less than 15 minutes to eat, and having to 'play' with their food (such as adding lettuce & tomato to sandwiches, or spreading peanut butter on crackers) before they can eat it just might make them not eat it at all. Unfortunately, the first 'need' it to 'make it fast and easy to eat'.

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