ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Family and Parenting»
  • Parenting Skills, Styles & Advice

Necessary Components of a Healthy School Lunch Box

Updated on August 14, 2013

The Tin Lunch Box Era

Remember these cartoon and comic book lunch boxes with the handles?
Remember these cartoon and comic book lunch boxes with the handles?

How School Lunch Programs Have Changed

Do you remember when cafeterias were non-existent within school programs? My first memory of eating in some type of cafeteria was the elementary school gym. We would line up in the hall, proceed to the gymnasium by classroom and sit on the bleachers to eat our lunch.

Prior to that wonderful experience when good balance was a must in keeping food on your lap, if you lived close, you could run home during lunch hour. Fortunately I lived within walking distance, and I recall eating quick meals such as a bowl of soup or a sandwich, and then heading back to school. It was comforting to see mom in the middle of the day, and the walk was rejuvenating.

Today we have school cafeterias serving a wide variety of food options; hot and cold meals, quick sandwiches, salads, vegetarian, food bars, and vending machines, to name a few. Going home for lunch is not a choice: you will lose half the students in the process; and the lunch hour is now twenty to thirty minutes, leaving little time to step out for a quick bite.

However, children still have the option to take their lunch to school, in spite of modern conveniences. Albeit a few schools have banned students bringing lunch from home due to not meeting nutritional needs, it is still popular across the nation. If the lunch box meal meets all the nutritional requirements for a healthy diet and is packed to keep food from spoiling, a lunch from home can provide much comfort to a child and encourages good eating habits.

Packing An Eco-Friendly Lunch Box

National School Lunch Program

The National School Lunch Act (NSLP) was created in 1946 and served over seven million children the first year. The number increased to 22 million in 1970, and jumped to 27 million in 1980. Today more than 224 billion children have participated in the program. The cost of the program was around 11 billion in 2011. The average program cost of a school lunch is $2.86 (free student lunch).

The program is available to pubic or nonprofit private high school grades or under, and private residential child care centers. Participating schools or institutions receive cash subsidies and USDA Foods for each meal they serve meeting federal requirements. Additionally, they must offer free or reduced price lunches to eligible children.

This school year (2012-2013), the NSLP guidelines increased the availability of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in the menu and set calorie limits applicable to grades K-12. Sodium content reductions are a gradual decrease within the next ten years. (source: fns.usda/gov/cnd)

The program sets good standards for serving children quality lunches meeting USDA nutritional guidelines. I have heard that some schools check lunch boxes as a measure of safety and precaution in meeting the USDA standards. Parents who pack school lunches for children should be aware of the standards to ensure their child has a healthful and pleasant lunch experience.

School Lunch Poll

What was your favorite lunch box item when you were in school?

See results

The Importance Of Eating A Healthy Lunch

Eating a healthy lunch at school is important for children. Without proper nutrition, children will lose energy to function in classroom activities. Additionally, hungry tummies tend to growl and may cause embarrassing moments for the child.

Food fuels the brain with much needed vitamins, minerals and micro-nutrients necessary for concentration. When a child exhibits lack of energy or poor concentration, it may be a sign of hunger or poor nutrition. For example, a lack of vitamin B12 may cause impaired cognitive function due to neurological or nerve fiber complications. The vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables provide much needed antioxidants through micro-nutrients. They are also cancer preventatives.

A healthy lunch will include protein, grain, fruit, and vegetable in appropriate serving sizes. Food should be provided in a variety of color and textures, and ideally should be seasonal choices, organic and locally grown for the best nutritional value.

The following is a general guideline on serving size for school-aged children:

  • Protein: 3 ounces of meat, poultry, or fish; 1 ounce nuts, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 cup beans
  • Fruit: Small fruit, 1/2 cup fruit, 1 cup cut-up fruit
  • Vegetable: 1 cup raw, cooked, or leafy green vegetable
  • Fats: 1 teaspoon butter or margarine, 2 tablespoons salad dressing

Source: fi.edu/learn/brain/diet.html


How Food Fuels Your Brain

Image created by Teaches12345, 2012.
Image created by Teaches12345, 2012.

School Lunch Box and Container Options

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Plastic containers are covenient and come with different serving options: take-out, lunchables, collapsible.This style simulates a lap-top (blue item pictured) and is popular with the "tech-savvy" kid. A reusable, freezeable thermos keeps food cold and prevents spoilage. Eco-friendly packaging, such as resusable sandwich and snack baggies save money, are dishwasher safe, and good for the environment. Thermos styles vary, allow your child to help choose one they like.  This will make lunch enjoyable. These pink snack containers (on top shelf) are cute, but may take up space in the bag. These purse-like lunch bags are popular with older elementary girls. Branded entertainment styles are creative and offer versatile packing compartments. I found this lunch bag style reminiscent of the "tin box" era.
Plastic containers are covenient and come with different serving options: take-out, lunchables, collapsible.
Plastic containers are covenient and come with different serving options: take-out, lunchables, collapsible.
This style simulates a lap-top (blue item pictured) and is popular with the "tech-savvy" kid.
This style simulates a lap-top (blue item pictured) and is popular with the "tech-savvy" kid.
A reusable, freezeable thermos keeps food cold and prevents spoilage.
A reusable, freezeable thermos keeps food cold and prevents spoilage.
Eco-friendly packaging, such as resusable sandwich and snack baggies save money, are dishwasher safe, and good for the environment.
Eco-friendly packaging, such as resusable sandwich and snack baggies save money, are dishwasher safe, and good for the environment.
Thermos styles vary, allow your child to help choose one they like.  This will make lunch enjoyable.
Thermos styles vary, allow your child to help choose one they like. This will make lunch enjoyable.
These pink snack containers (on top shelf) are cute, but may take up space in the bag.
These pink snack containers (on top shelf) are cute, but may take up space in the bag.
These purse-like lunch bags are popular with older elementary girls.
These purse-like lunch bags are popular with older elementary girls.
Branded entertainment styles are creative and offer versatile packing compartments.
Branded entertainment styles are creative and offer versatile packing compartments.
I found this lunch bag style reminiscent of the "tin box" era.
I found this lunch bag style reminiscent of the "tin box" era.

Lunch Boxes And Containers

Reflecting upon my elementary school days, I remember the plain, brown, paper bag was the norm for packing a lunch. Lunch meal options were usually a PBJ sandwich, fruit, and when available, a treat such as a cookie. Yes, I will admit that sometimes a candy bar was stuck in for added pleasure.

If your child's school allows lunch from home, and your child prefers to take his or her own lunch, there are a variety of options in lunch box styles and food containers. The best lunch box styles will hold several small containers, have easy-open zippers, and insulated to hold food temperature hot or cold as needed. Use ice packs as an aid in keeping foods cold, and a thermos maintains hot soups and beverages over a few hours.

Due to the concern for BPA chemicals in products, plastic baggies and containers (unless BPA free) should be avoided in packing and wrapping food items. BPA is an organic chemical compound having hormone-like properties that are a concern as suitability for packaging of food products.

Good Properties Of A Lunch Box and Container

As you can see by the adjacent photos, the types of lunch boxes and containers available on the market are varied. I was amazed at the choices! I was intrigued by the purse-styled lunch totes and lunchskins baggies. They certainly have come a long way from the old, tin lunch box I carried!

Here are some pointers in purchasing lunch box (or lunch bag) container items:

  • Divided compartments are helpful in keeping food separate.
  • Reusable and recyclable containers are cost effective, usually are dishwasher safe, and hold different food shapes and sizes well.
  • Make sure they are durable and have a tight seal around the edges.
  • Check for the BPA label. It is healthier for your child's food items.

Fun Lunch Box Ideas

How Informational Was This Article?

4.8 out of 5 stars from 5 ratings of Healthy School Lunchbox Components

Kids Packing Their Own Lunch

On Saturdays, my husband's mom would make him egg salad sandwiches for the whole week, freeze them, and put one out on the counter the night before for his lunch box. He ate a lot of egg salad in those days; and frankly, I'm surprised that he still enjoys one now and then. However, my mother-in-law's thinking ahead, enabled him to pack a good lunch and kept him energized for the day.

Depending upon the child, packing a school lunch can be taught at an early age. Some children can put together a healthy lunch at age six while others may be ready at ten. If a child demonstrates maturity and responsibility, then a parent can set basic guidelines regarding nutritional content and packaging of food and allow her to pack her own lunch box.

If a child is young, pre-packaging food or setting it out the night before may help him to make choices meeting the nutritional standards of a healthy lunch. Older children can put together a simple wrap or pita sandwich with little problem. Going through the steps with your child before allowing him to navigate on his own will give both you and him confidence.

Today food allergies are concerning for many families. Talk with your child's teacher and those that will have lunch supervision on how best to help your child remember safe eating habits. Sharing lunch is not an option for these special kids, and it is important that other children realize the safety needed to ensure everyone has a good time together. Your child should also know how to follow safe food consumption and the signs that may indicate an allergic reaction. Seconds count in preventing a serious, life-threatening incident.

Lastly, some parents make a visual poster as a guideline in packing lunch. Children can easily view what foods make healthful lunch options. I suggest that parents check the contents of the lunch box with the smaller children just as a precaution. You can use this time to sneak in a note to your child, don't lose that communication opportunity!

Lunch Box Food Ideas

Main Food Item
Vegatable
Fruit
Dessert
Pita: Turkey, Chicken, Falafel
Carrot Sticks, Baby carrots
Grapes
Cookie
Wrap: Turkey, Chicken, Veggie
Cucumber with dip or nut butter
Apple: whole or slices
Brownie
Panini: Ham, Turkey
Broccoli with dip or nut butter
Orange: whole or segments
Peanut Butter Crackers
Burrito: Beef, chicken or bean
Celery sticks with cream cheese or nut butter
Bananas: whole, or halved
Trail Mix
Egg on English Muffin
Tomato wedges or grape tomatoes
Raisins
Muffin
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Zucchini Sticks with hummus
Fruit salad
 
Quesadillas: cheese, chicken, turkey
Edamame with dipping sauce, hummus
Melon cubes, watermelon slices
 

Packing A School Lunch Box

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A lunch box or lunch bag should be flexible to allow room for several food items.  Large zippers and netted compartments are an easy open for children.Water is the best choice as a beverage, followed by skim or low-fat milk.  Allow plenty of room for small containers, utensils, and a beverage. Children can learn to pack healthy lunches if given proper instruction and guidelines.  Whole grain, natural, organic foods are best in a school lunch.
A lunch box or lunch bag should be flexible to allow room for several food items.  Large zippers and netted compartments are an easy open for children.
A lunch box or lunch bag should be flexible to allow room for several food items. Large zippers and netted compartments are an easy open for children.
Water is the best choice as a beverage, followed by skim or low-fat milk.
Water is the best choice as a beverage, followed by skim or low-fat milk.
Allow plenty of room for small containers, utensils, and a beverage.
Allow plenty of room for small containers, utensils, and a beverage.
Children can learn to pack healthy lunches if given proper instruction and guidelines.
Children can learn to pack healthy lunches if given proper instruction and guidelines.
Whole grain, natural, organic foods are best in a school lunch.
Whole grain, natural, organic foods are best in a school lunch.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Michelle, I somehow missed your comment on this hub and am sorry for the delay in responding. Yes, yogurt is a great choice for lunch. I love it as a snack as well. Thanks for adding value to this content. BE well and safe.

    • Michelle Warner profile image

      Michelle Warner 3 years ago from Charlottesville, Virginia

      Great article. I would also add yogurt as a great lunch addition (with an ice-pack, or course) -- containing high protein and probiotics, and low sugar, such as a Greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Journey, thanks for the comment and visit. I appreciate your support.

      Crafty, I am chuckling at your last comment. Don't worry, they will learn to eat and enjoy those veggies over time. I can remember when I hated spinach and now I love it! Great idea to save by making your own drinks at home. Your daughter is going to benefit from drinking all that water, it's the best option. Thanks for your visit here and your contribution to the article. Have a wonderful time with your children.

    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

      How fun that would be to run home to have lunch with mom! That would be amazing. I try to be cautious about what I pack for lunch. Both children get the same things every day. Instead of juice boxes, I bought them plastic leak-proof bottles. My daughter likes ice water in hers. My son likes diet drinks. I have to be careful about the red dyes in juices. I was buying juice boxes, and it got to be too expensive. Now I buy a powdered mix and make a pitcher at home to refill his drink bottle.

      The challenge I have is that most of the easy snacks are loaded with carbs. I try to use apple slices and carrot chips, but those usually come back home! LOL

    • Journey * profile image

      Nyesha Pagnou MPH 3 years ago from USA

      Hi teaches12345, this is great information. Thanks for being so thorough in advising.

      Best,

      Journey *

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Mary,

      Whonu,

      Molly,

      Thank you for visiting the post. I deeply appreciate your supportive comments. Molly, I loved Mary Poppins as a kid -- only wish I had that lunchbox! Mary, yes, at least they ate. Kids are particular at this age. Whonu, it is simple, but keeping it healthy is what counts. Take care.

      Blessings to everyone!

    • mollymeadows profile image

      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      This is a great guide, Teaches -- so thorough and helpful. When I was a kid I had a Mary Poppins lunchbox. I think I still have it somewhere!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Nice work my friend. Something so simple, yet means so much to kids. whonu

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      You did a wonderful Hub here on school lunches. I never knew you could freeze egg salad! My 4 kids all made their own lunches from an early age. I won't say their lunches were healthy, but at least they ate!

      Voted UP and shared.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hello Alecia,

      Glad to hear that you still pack healthy lunches. I prefer to eat this way as well. At my age, you can't afford to eat the really good stuff like potato chips, candy bars, etc. Have a great week, dear lady. Blessings.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I know I'm not in school but this is still how I prepare my lunch to go to work. I've been taking my lunch since childhood and it's a habit I had a hard time breaking with the exception being the dining hall in college. Great hub!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thank you, Victoria, for your support of the topic. Having lunch options makes school much more tolerable for our kids. Enjoy your week, friend.

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      teaches, you covered it all! I especially like the table. This can be really helpful for parents preparing lunches. Voted up and more!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Cygnethbrown, glad you found some helpful lunch box ideas. I preferred taking my own lunch then, and even now. Good parenting!

    • cygnetbrown profile image

      Donna Brown 4 years ago from Alton, Missouri

      A lot of good information in this article. My daughter doesn't like the food provided in the school lunch program so she carries her lunch every day. We do what we can to vary her diet, and this certainly helps me create more imaginative lunches for her.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Meg, crescent rolls make good pinwheels filled with chicken. I use the refrigerated kind, fill them and pop in the oven for 11 minutes. I add cheese also. Thanks for stopping here on your journey.

    • Meg Moon profile image

      Meg Moon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Some great ideas- I've been recently trying to think of something more exciting than sandwiches to send in my daughter's lunch box. Salad is the obvious choice but it's not that appealing in the winter months. Wraps and pittas are a nice alternative. Voted up.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I often hear people comment on how their parent packed notes, etc. in their lunchboxes as a surpise. It was such a bright spot in their day. Your children must have looked forward to this special touch from you. The dog biscuit is hilarious! It is sad that school lunch is the only meal a child may have all day. Let's hope this program works as intended. Enjoy your day, friend.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 4 years ago from Brazil

      Wonderful hub. The topic of school lunches is so important. In some areas, this may be the only proper meal the child will have during the day. I did some training at an inner city school and saw how grateful the children were to have a school lunch. There was also a breakfast program at that school as well. I have also been in a private school where one of the young girls told me, "Miss, I don't like tuna, only salmon". Talk about worlds apart.

      I loved taking a lunch to school. I remember opening my Scooby Doo lunch box and being surprised each day.

      As a parent, I always tried to pack a healthy lunch for my kids. I remember my kids saying that their friends always commented on their lunch contents. I tried to put something different in as well. Sometimes a note, one time a dog biscuit (as a joke), something to let them know I was thinking about them.

      As always, enjoyed this thoughtful hub.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am glad that you liked this post, Deborah, and that you find it useful for your website. The school lunch program is changing, many parents are having to deal with the new regulations when providing lunch from home. I still prefer a good, nutritious lunch from home myself. I appreciate your visit and support here. Enjoy your weekend.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      Well done. I'm going to share this on my Healthy Food Examiner page.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I love to hear stories about how effective a father is as a role model, your nephew is very blessed. I am sure your nephew will come up with some really creative lunch meals. Thanks for popping by here today, Alocsin. Always good to see you.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I'm going to hand this over to my brother, whose kid will be starting kindergarten in a few months. Even though my nephew is very young, he tries to follow his father's footsteps as a cook, so my nephew should have fun helping to prepare his own lunches. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hyphenbird, it is wonderful to hear that your son enjoys his lunch. I am sure that he has had great role modeling on appropriate food choices from you and it does make the difference in children eating well. Many children do not have this example and support, thus the school regulations have come into play. It is unfortunate that the rules have to be set in place due to the few who do not provide healthy lunches for their children. Water? Really? I would prefer water to milk because milk, especially the pastuerized, is not exactly healthy for kids. However, that is for another discussion. I love a PBJ, especially with a bowl of chili. Your input is valued and adds to the hub. Thanks! Blessings, dear lady.

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      I prefer to pack my son's lunch. The school system is getting ridiculous about lunch. I actually had to get a doctor's note so my son can have water. Yes, plain water. I am in the process of writing a letter to the school board and the local newspaper. The kids are required to get milk and he does not drink milk, never has. I find it appalling that lunch sent from home can be banned. That should make every American screaming mad. Thanks for the lunch ideas. My boy does eat healthy. He loves a PB&J but always eats the carrots or whatever else I put in there.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Dzy, thanks for your contribution to the topic. Some school systems do not follow the guidelines, they improvise as you stated. That is very sad indeed! I prefer my own lunch from home even today. Thanks for stopping by. Take care.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      When I was a kid, I very rarely bought lunch--always brought my own. It was healthy enough, for that was before the days of all this unhealthy garbage food that is so "everywhere" nowadays.

      We referred to the cafeteria offerings as "dog food." It tasted nasty, and looked worse.

      The so-called child nutrition act is bogus. The things they regard as healthy often are not--think of the debacle of classifying ketchup as a vegetable!

      To ban home-packed lunches would be an egregious offense, and if that happens, it should spark a major boycott and protest. I'd even advise boycotting the whole school...don't send your kids to school until they reverse themselves!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Thanks and warm thoughts,

      Tillson,

      Denise,

      Mary,

      Nell!

      The lunch program has changed, most good but for those who take lunch they may have to know the guidelines. Mary, for those that ban lunch, they must offer a free lunch program for those who cannot afford it. It has its pros and cons. For the balogna bunch, I still have one on rare occasion.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      I remember Jamie Oliver from tv trying to get people to eat healthy school lunches, and it is so important, this was great and so useful, voted up! nell

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 4 years ago from Florida

      I was in the middle of typing a comment when I lost power, so you may received a goofy comment unfinished. I did enjoy reading this Hub. I can't imagine schools banning lunches from home. Some parents can't afford to buy lunches for their kids.

      Great Hub. I voted it UP, etc.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Stellar hub, Dianna-has all the right components, great photos and video and useful and interesting information. I didn't realize that the lunch act dated back to 1946! Boy, did your poll bring back memories. My lunch box entrée was a predictable boloney and ketchup sandwich on white wonder bread Mon-Thurs and P & J on Friday (Catholic). To this day I cannot stomach wonder bread or boloney, haha.

      I can just imagine you standing in front of the products in the store taking photos...I do the same thing. Rated up/U/I and sharing.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      Wow! This hub is packed 'fuller' than a stuffed lunchbox!! Lots of very good information here teaches from food to the boxes themselves....you've got it all, good information, chart, photos, even a poll...how lucky we are to have our very own teacher leading the way!

      That said, I have to admit I ate a baloney sandwich every day for eight years and one of my children ate a salami sandwich every day for eight years....I realize the importance of nutrition but sometimes you just want to get them to eat.

      Great hub teaches. Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting....did I say shared too?

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Good day, Eddy! Thanks for coming to visit and for your warm support. Always good to see you.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      As always teaches another gem which will benefit so many. Enjoy your day.

      Eddy.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Sturgeonl, parents pack for convenience or to the taste of what kids will eat. It's too hard to take the time and patience to teach kids what is healthy. Thus, we have adults who are suffering from other health related issues. Thanks for the added thoughts -- valuable!

      Prasonline, thank you. We gotta try to help kids make better food choices while the are young. It was nice to have your visit here. Take care.

      Dr BJ, the chart lists foods that are a little different from the norm, but very healthful indeed. Thanks for your contribution. Enjoy your day.

      Vellur, I agree so heartedly, having children be a part of the meal planning will encourage them to eat a little better. Glad to see you today!

      Glimmer, rice is a good basic grain to start with, adding on sides that balance this out is a great idea. Yes, there are still schools who lack in providing nutritional lunches, better to take your own. Thanks for your added thoughts, very much appreciated. Enjoy your day.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      Lunch boxes are a daily dilemma for me. My daughter is a very picky eater and I try very hard to give her a balanced meal. One thing that helps is she likes leftovers so she gets a lot of rice, supplemented with other sides. Unfortunately the school lunches in our area are not healthy, no matter what the school tells you. Kids can also "supersize" their purchased lunch which I think is ridiculous. Useful hub and voted up!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Great ideas and pointers. When children make sandwiches and pack their lunch, they will be more interested in eating and finishing off the entire meal. Very useful hub, thanks for sharing, voted up.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

      Your 'lunchbox food ideas' list is perfect, Dianna, and will save moms lots of time and effort when trying to choose the most appropriate healthful choices for their children. Voted up!

    • prasonline profile image

      Prasanna Marlin 4 years ago from Sri lanka

      Wonderful hub, teaches! You explained the health issues and provided lots of options. Voted useful and shared.

    • Sturgeonl profile image

      Sturgeonl 4 years ago

      This hub is a very important topic. As a teacher I am shocked to look at the lunches of some children and see only carbs, salt, and sugar foods in convenient packaging...and then we expect them to sit still and concentrate. The importance of healthy eating can not be over emphasized! Voted very useful!!!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Vinaya, so good to hear how your government has stepped up to help children in need. They will get a great education and nutrition as well. Thanks for visiting here today. Be well and strong.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Moonlake, yes, they have started a breakfast program and an afternoon beverage as well. That is a good deal for families in need: food from the pantry. What a great blessing.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Good for you getting involved in your child's education! I still love a good baloney sandwich on occasion. I would have traded with you! Take care, friend.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hello Michele! My son attended a small private school in his elementary years, it was a benefit having a hot meal heated before serving. Thanks for your visit and add to the content. Blessings, dear lady.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I am glad most schools allow for lunches from home, it is the better choice in getting kids to eat their lunch. Thanks for you visit here, Speakup. Enjoy your day.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Jools, a lunch meal tells a teacher lots about a child's life, and how it affects their learning in the classroom. It is amazing how many parents consider sweets as dessert, chocolate is ok alone (72% cocao+) but not when you add all the other ingredients. It melts too! Great add here. Thanks.

      Marcy, I am not in favor of banning lunches from home, but you can see the great benefit some kids get from a free nutritional lunch program. Thanks for you added value to the hub.

      Thanks again, Janine. Pre-school snacks have also changed accordingly, I remember when last I was a director we were serving whole grain chips with hummus or soy nut butter as a snack with water. Your contribution is appreciated and valued.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      Awesome hub article on healthy lunches Dianna. Emma just having started pre-school this fall doesn't get lunch there yet, but we have had to buy healthy snacks for her class and am starting to slowly as a mom learn the ins and outs on this now. I was always on the other end of it, but now being on the mom end it has made be much more conscious. That said loved your post and have pinned to refer to, voted up and shared all over!!!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 4 years ago from Planet Earth

      A friend of mine is the principal at a very disadvantaged school, and many of those kids wouldn't eat if it weren't for nutrition programs. Those who do have packed lunches seldom have anything balanced or healthy. Excellent hub!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Teaches, excellent hub with all bases covered! At my old school, you could usually tell what they ate at home based on their lunch box or guess how lazy their mams were! Some of them were very healthy, with wholewheat bread sandwiches and packed with fruit juice and a yogurt whilst others were chocolate spread sandwiches packed with crisps and a Mars Bar - all this in spite of a letter going out to parents asking them to not include chocolate in the lunchbox :o(

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Nepal government has introduced lunch program in schools to encourage underprivileged families to send their children to school. And this policy has been very effective.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Our son was saying tonight they are also feeding the kids breakfast in school. He also said about 40 children take home backpacks twice a week provided by the food pantry filled with food for the family. Enjoyed your hub. Voted up.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Being active in a very involved PTA solved many parents' school lunch worries. Me.. it was baloney and mayonnaise sandwiches so often, I couldn't find anyone to trade.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Wonderful hub. My daughter takes lean cuisine to her school. she goes to a small school, and they have a microwave.

      The information in this hub is wonderful, thank you so much for writing it.

      Voted up.

    • SpeakUpStandOut profile image

      Criss 4 years ago from Southern California

      Schools are taking too many liberties when it comes to our children. I'll be damned if I let a school tell me what I can and can not feed my child. If I want to pack my childs lunch, I will and the school will allow my child to eat the lunch I have packed. Next schools will be telling us what kind of underwear is appropriate for our children to wear and what brand of socks are acceptable.

      When the school district starts paying my childs rent, that is when they can tell me what to feed them, until then, they need to stay within the boundaries of basic teaching.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      I do like the pbj followed by a chocolate chip cookie. I don't have much peanut butter in general these days. I enjoyed hearing from you. Take care.

    • lindacee profile image

      lindacee 4 years ago from Arizona

      Great Hub, teaches! My favorite lunchbox lunch was a peanut butter sandwich, chips, an apple, thermos of milk and a homemade chocolate chip cookie. I ate that same lunch almost exclusively for 5 years. It's no wonder I'm not a big fan of peanut butter!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Rebecca, lunch from home is always a better choice when packed with healthy food choices. I do love the old tin boxes, they make me want to pack a lunch just for fun. You enjoy your weekend and keep safe.

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Love, I always chose to eat school lunch when hamburgers, pizza or chili were being served. You have the right assumption, kids are not bringing nutritional meals to school, so they have to do something to improve the health of children. It is too sad though. Thanks for your support and vote up. Enjoy your day and have a great lunch tomorrow!

    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      my mother used to pack me a good lunch inside my favorite cartoon character steel tin box. every school year, I chose a different one. I agree kids should eat a nutritional lunch, but why should some schools forbid kids from bringing their own lunch.. my guess is that schools want to make sure that kids are eating at least one nutritional meal a day. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is very yummy but doesn't alone meet the nutritional requirements. as a child, I hated those green vegetables so I hardly ever ate the school lunch except on the days where pizza boat, sloppy joe or meatloaf was served. voted up useful hub

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Voted useful and shared, teaches! Even though school lunches are a bit healthier these days in most places Moms can pack healthier lunches since they can pick and choose the foods that go in. Oh, and I just love that Curious George lunch box. Those old retro lunch boxes could create a whole new Hub!

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Polly, it is a wonderful day when mom doesn't have to worry so much about packing lunches. Free time! Thanks, friend, for your support.

      Bill, I agree with you. Banning lunches from home is a type of censorship, but they say it is because of the poor lunches kids bring from home. They still allow for kids with allergies to bring theirs due to special food needs. I prefer my own home cooked food any day!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You need to win the contest for this hub! Great job my friend. I had no idea some schools have outlawed bringing lunches from home....what's up with that? I have some issues with that practice.

      Anyway, this is a fantastic hub, Dianna!

    • Pollyannalana profile image

      Pollyannalana 4 years ago from US

      I do think it is a great idea to have kids pack their own lunch, it opens up their minds for new ideas on foods I think and hopefully this would help mom around the house by fixing some of their on meals such as weekend lunches, maybe packing picnics for a park etc. Love all your great ideas. ^

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Theresa, lunch has changed hasn't it? Well, you and I would probably have the best lunch around if we had to do this again. Thanks for your support. Take care and enjoy your weekend.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 4 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Terrific Hub. You covered all the bases, explained the health issues and provided lots of options. I don't have to do lunches any more, but if i had to, I would certainly be prepared. :) ~~Theresa

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Hi Kelley, I love the new ideas in lunchbox containers. They would have made my lunch experience much more enjoyable as a kid. Now, I would carry the purse style -- so chic! Thanks for supporting this article, Kelley. Blessings to you and your family.

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Great hub as usual teaches! I like the divided components in a lunch box. The dividers make it so much easier to pack a lunch! We have some of the lunch boxes pictured here;). Voted up and shared! Kelley

    • teaches12345 profile image
      Author

      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      Carol and Faith, you deserve the "lunchbox award "for being the first ones here. Give yourself a cookie! Carol, they may eat it more if they pack it themselves -- maybe. Faith, the old tins are pretty valuable now. I'm holding on to my Curious George for awhile. Yes, schools are really in to making sure lunches are nutritional these days. Good thing! Take care and God bless. Thanks for the support.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Wow teaches, this is an extensive and very useful hub here you have written. I do remember the tin lunch box era - Ha, I would imagine, if in good shape, they are collectibles by now now doubt. You always go above and beyond in all of your hubs covering the subject matter from top to bottom. I am glad now in the schools they are adding healthier options of choice, especially for the children. You are so right about the importance of a eating a healthy lunch to fuel that brain!!!

      Voted Way Up

      God bless. In His Love, Faith Reaper

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Great hub on school lunches. Now if they only eat them. I remember my mother used to pack me an avocado or fried egg sandwich with carrots and celery ...I had no idea there was so much ado in the food department in school. Great Voted Up+++