Back to School: Healthy school lunches

Back to School: Healthy school lunches

by Heather Mileski, registered dietitian, McMaster Children’s Hospital

When kids are involved in making lunches, they’re more likely to eat and enjoy what’s in their bag. So you aren’t scrambling every night, set aside time for family lunch preparation on the weekend and make enough to last through Friday. Here are some tips to simplify healthy school lunches:

Protein
Eggs and Chicken – Hard boil a dozen eggs or roast a batch of chicken breasts to provide protein for the week.
Homemade Trail Mix – Instead of sugary granola bars, pack a mixture of seeds and dried fruit with lower sugar cereals like Shreddies.

Fibre
Homemade Muffin – Bake a batch of whole wheat muffins with your kids and freeze them individually.

Vitamins and Fibre
Veggies/Fruit  – Cut plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit so you don’t have to do this every day.

Calcium
Yogurt – Be sure to choose yogurt low in additives and sugar.

Hydration
Re-useable Water Bottle – Juice boxes are convenient, but full of sugar. Instead pack a re-usable water bottle.

To further encourage healthy eating habits at school, model healthy eating at home by cooking and eating together.

It is also important to pay attention to your kids’ digestive health

Diarrhea? Try reducing sugar
Constipation? Add more fibre
Reflux or bloating? Cut back on high-fat and processed foods

Digestive issues can suggest a larger underlying problem. If your child has ongoing digestive problems, talk to your family doctor.

 

You can get more back to school information and tips, from our booklet below.