Reviewed by Hannah Jastram, registered dietitian — Center for Family Development.
Why a healthy lunch?
- Helps children stay alert and focused throughout the school day
- Children who are nourished will do better in school
- Teaches good habits that children can take into adulthood
- Reduces risk for certain diseases including diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure which will keep them out of the doctor's office
- Vegetables and fruits that are a variety of colors such as carrots, tomatoes, green beans, apples and oranges
- Lean protein such as turkey, chicken, beans, nuts and seafood
- Whole grains such as brown rice, whole grain pasta and bread
- Low-fat dairy products or calcium-fortified soy beverages
Goal for this month
Pick one to work on and tell us in the comments when you've reached it:
- Discuss the school lunch menu before your child leaves for the day.
- Ask your child what options they will be choosing in order to leave the conversation open for follow-up after school.
- Use MyPlate to plan meals at home that are similar to what they are served at school.