Healthy School Lunch Ideas

nutrition-400The school year is has started and so has the lunch making. This year, consider these tips to help provide your student with a healthy lunch.

  • YMCA kids with healthy foodsSkip the sugared drinks: Instead of juice, pack a small bottle of water or have your child get low-fat white milk from the lunch line.
  • Pack the fruits and veggies: Take out the bag of chips and pile on the raw carrots, celery, red, orange, or yellow bell pepper slices, cherry or grape tomatoes. Add in a small serving of salsa, low-fat Ranch or other dip. Apple slices or a banana with nut/seed butter provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fat. Berries, cubed melon, peaches, pears and more are all juicy and refreshing favorites too! The more variety in color the better.
  • Choose wholes grains: If packing a sandwich, choose whole grain bread with two or more grams of fiber per slice. Instead of bread, wrap the sandwich in a whole wheat or corn tortilla.
  • Change up your protein choice: Lunch meat is highly processed and high in salt. Instead, make a sandwich with a nut or seed butter spread, wrap a tortilla with cheese and refried beans, pack low-fat cottage cheese with fruit, or peel and pack a hard-boiled egg or two.

Are you looking for more information on how you and your family can eat healthy? Many of our YMCAs offer nutrition counseling for individuals and families. For more information on scheduling a consultation, please stop by your local Y’s Welcome Center.

Information provided by Ashley Cunningham, RD, LD, CDE.

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