Ways to Pack a Healthier Lunch
Give your child’s lunch an extreme — and deliciously nutritious — makeover. Add fun flavor and a new approach.
5 Ways to Pack a Healthier Lunch
USE A BENTO BOX Japanese-style bento boxes and their nesting compartments are perfect for kid-size nibbles. Best of all, when your child pops the lid, the entire spread is at her fingertips, which puts the carrots on par with the PB&J and grapes for super-easy grazing.
SNEAK IN EXTRA VEGGIES If the produce in your kid’s lunch is making the return trip home, consider hiding it. Add finely grated carrots to tuna and chicken salad, swap lettuce for nutrient-dense baby spinach, or try Horizon’s new Little Blends yogurts, which offer surprisingly tasty fruit and vegetable combos, such as Strawberry-Carrot and Banana-Sweet Potato.
ADD (MORE) WHOLE GRAINS Pack whole wheat pretzels instead of other salty snacks. Or take a cue from nutritionist Barbara Storper, author of Janey Junkfood’s Fresh Adventure!, and make a checkerboard sandwich. Use one slice of whole wheat bread and one of white, then cut the sandwich into quarters and rearrange the squares as shown.
OFFER NUTRITIOUS SNACKS Apples not making the grade? Try freeze-dried fruit, such as Brothers-All-Natural or Crispy Green. Another option from chef and school-lunch reformer Ann Cooper: homemade gorp. Kids can choose the ingredients, then mix up their own combinations each night before school.
SERVE LOW-SUGAR DRINKS In lieu of traditional juice boxes, pack a juice-and-water blend, such as R.W. Knudsen Family Organic Sensible Sippers, or fill a thermos with flavored water (make your own or try a store-bought variety — just be on the lookout for artificial sweeteners).