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A Healthy School Lunch: Keeping your child's nutrition balanced away from home

Updated on August 23, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.

I remember my Mom and Dad clothes shopping for my brother, sister and me for school. We hit certain clothing stores my Mom liked. Her favorite was a store called Alexander's which is no longer in existence where I was raised. Times have not changed when it comes to the back-to-school shopping rush. I now avoid certain clothing stores around back-to-school time because of the hustle and bustle of parents and children trying to get great buys on back-to-school items. Something got me wondering - hmmm? For parents who prepare their children's lunches are they this fervent in shopping for lunch items as they are for their children's clothing? My answer would be, probably not. Some of my friends, with their kids, make lists of clothing items necessary or wanted for the school year. I think parents should also make out a list of necessary food items that their children should take with them for lunch. By necessary, I mean food that will sustain children throughout the day; foods that will boost brain power and provide enough energy for physical exercise and won't leave children drained by the end of their day. If your children are computer literate why not make finding nutritional foods for lunch a family affair? Kids love to spend their parents' money so let them come up with a grocery list and here's how:

  • Let your kids find foods that will boost their brain power. Tell them to do internet searches on foods they like that will help them concentrate.
  • Let your kids find foods that will keep them from getting tired or fatigued during the day.
  • Tell them they have to choose fruits and veggies and to make a list of them.



Healthy food tips to be mindful of when preparing your child's lunch.

  • To help keep your child's blood sugar levels even, protein should be part of each meal.
  • Want to make sure your child's brain is fueled, then make sure he or she has a good carbohydrate.
  • Make sure your child has their fair share of fruits and veggies. I am such a fan of fruit or green smoothies. Green smoothies are a blend of green leafy veggies and fruit.
  • Always make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast because it's proven that kids who eat breakfast do better in school.

Healthy School Lunch Ideas

  • Peanut butter & jelly / jam on 12 grain or wheat loaf bread or pita bread, piece of fruit, with an organic bag of chips, and organic low-fat milk or juice.



  • Chicken or Turkey or Veggie wrap (tortillas) with lettuce or spinach, white cheese (yellow cheese has food dye), bean sprouts, onions, tomato, oil and vinegar. Cut up fruit like orange slices, apple slices, or berries. Organic juice box.


  • Salad with chunks of chicken or turkey, shredded or grated white cheese or feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, croutons, sliced banana peppers, shredded carrots, low-fat Caesar dressing. Plantain chips, piece of fruit, and organic low-fat chocolate milk.


  • Brown rice or pasta with mixed veggies and turkey, Greek yogurt topped with fruit, organic trail mix, organic apple juice.


  • For cold winter days a thermos of hot veggie soup, chicken noodle soup, or chicken and rice soup with organic pita chips will hit the spot at lunch time. Also, have a thermos of hot raspberry or blueberry tea and a banana on the side.


  • Sushi Rolls (not raw, of course). How unusual and fun is this for a kid's lunch? You and your child can try your hands and make them yourselves. See link below to make sushi at home.

  • Toasted pita triangles with Hummus, baked chicken fingers, pineapple slices, flavored water.

A healthy lunch looks and tastes great!

Comments

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    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks Margarita!

    • MargaritaEden profile image

      MargaritaEden 

      5 years ago from Oregon

      Great ideas, so practical for me and so useful, sharing this hub on facebook!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Deborah, thanks. I make these items for my lunch for work as well.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      5 years ago from Iowa

      Great ideas. I recently wrote an article for my Healthy Food Examiner column on how to pack a healthy school lunch. This is a great follow-up to that so I will share it on my Facebook page.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi jenbeach21, thanks. The kids really enjoy these.

    • jenbeach21 profile image

      jenbeach21 

      5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      These are great ideas for kid's lunches. I will be trying some out soon. Thanks!

    • recipesonly profile image

      recipesonly 

      6 years ago

      Very useful hub on feeding kids healthy food. Great lunch ideas too. I have a kids recipes food blog where I share recipes that I make for my 9 year son. It might be of help to your readers. Check it out at http://kidszone.sailusfood.com

    • profile image

      Johnnie 

      6 years ago

      These are some great lunch ideas. I will be using them for me and the kids. Voted up!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi DeBorrah, I agree, these are anytime eats.

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      6 years ago

      Kristine Manley, Yum! YUM!! Great tasty healthy suggestions for lunch or anytime for kids & everyone! Thank You for sharing, Peace & Blesings!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi midnightbliss, I wish I had these lunches when I was in school, too.

    • midnightbliss profile image

      Haydee Anderson 

      6 years ago from Hermosa Beach

      i wish i had this kind of lunch when i was still at school. lols. but these are delicious recipes i would love to make at home.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks Cloverleaf

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Danette, you're right - some of these ideas were not available or thought of in the 50's, 60's, or 70's.

    • Cloverleaf profile image

      Cloverleaf 

      6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

      Kristine, this is great advice; kids eat way too much junk these days. Voted up & useful!

      Cloverleaf.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      my kids are grown and out of the house but these are great ideas for today's parents. Times do change and not only were some of these items not available back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, they weren't even somebody's idea. I'm sending the sushi link to my younger son.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Karen, I don't remember, as a child, my parents putting together these kinds of lunches. Times have definitely changed.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks Frannie Dee, I agree, good food does beat out clothes any day.

    • Karen Graham profile image

      Karen Graham 

      6 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

      Very well written, and full of good advise. I wish my Mother had seen something like this when I was a child.

    • Frannie Dee profile image

      Frannie Dee 

      6 years ago from Chicago Northwest Suburb

      Great Hub...like your slant on priorities. Good food beats out clothes.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Robin, I love Sushi too, but the wasabi gets me. LOL!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Thanks, I like to eat these items myself.

    • Robin profile image

      Robin Edmondson 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      These are great ideas for school lunches and perfect timing for back to school, Kristine! I love the idea of sushi in the lunch; our oldest loves sushi and would be so happy to have that on the rotation. Cheers!

    • profile image

      lisamarie365 

      6 years ago

      I love this. THese are things that kids will actually enjoy

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