Make the Grade with Brown Bag Lunches

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Almost half of U.S. schoolchildren bring their lunch to school. However, most of the foods in packed lunches are processed, salty snack foods and sugary desserts. Frequently missing are fresh fruits, veggies and low-fat dairy.

Video Description: Pack healthy, to-go lunches with fresh snacks and a bento box.

Healthy & Wise Lunches

Packing a healthy and appealing lunch that kids will enjoy is a no-brainer. Simple planning is all that’s required. Choose foods that are well-balanced energy sources—complex carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables plus low-fat milk, just to name a few. Pack water to drink instead of juice or sugar-sweetened beverages.

Kid’s Lunches: Assembly Required

Pre-packaged lunches are popular with kids because they provide control-style lunches. Here are some fun and healthy “lunchable” ideas:
  • Assemble Your Own Pizza: Whole-wheat pita bread triangles, turkey pepperoni, cheese and a sauce for dipping.
  • Sandwich Assembly: Whole-wheat bread, lean deli meat, lettuce, cheese and a spread—avocado, hummus, or pesto makes a great spread.
  • Yogurt and Granola Mix: Granola (Sprouts has a wide selection of great tasting granola), dried fruit, yogurt, fresh fruit and some nuts.
  • Snack Attack: Baby carrots, snow peas, small sweet peppers, grapes, sliced cheese, multi-grain crackers and almond butter.

Switch This for That

Exchange processed and high-sodium foods for healthier alternatives—your kids won’t know the difference.
  • Replace processed lunchmeats with pre-cooked rotisserie chicken.
  • Replace fried potato chips with baked kale chips.
  • Replace cookies with whole-wheat pretzels.
  • Replace sugary desserts with fresh whole fruit.
  • Replace crackers with fresh sliced veggies.