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Packing a Nutritious Lunch

May 26, 2014
By

HispanicBoy-eatingLunch

Here are a few additional lunch-packing tips for moms and dads embarking on the art of early morning sandwich making.

- Pay close attention to the balance of your child’s lunch rather than counting calories to ensure you’ve packed a well-rounded meal.

-Avoid the empty calories hidden inside of juice boxes and offer water instead. If your child doesn’t like water, try flavoring it with fruit or a hint of juice.

- Include fun finger foods that your child will enjoy eating such as crackers and cheese or cucumbers and hummus.

- Use unprocessed items, avoid those bags of Doritos and Oreos, instead opt for blue berries and pretzels.

- The more colorful the better: most natural foods are colorful, choose your items based on this.

- Make sure there’s a good balance of carbs, fat and protein.

- Be creative. Nobody likes the same old sandwich every day, so be creative. Use last night’s leftover grilled chicken and wrap it up in a whole-wheat pita with some hummus or make a salad or bean dip.

- Cut up veggies with a hummus or bean dip or fruits with a yogurt dip.

- Be careful about nitrates in lunch meat and always pack a cold pack with items that need refrigeration such as yogurt or milk.

- Always go for whole grain.

- Nuts, yogurts, cut up fruits and veggies and cheese make for a very protein-packed lunch.

- Check with your school to see what the “hot lunch” program offers.  The Cupertino Union School District follows closely the USDA nutrition information as it pertains to portion and balance to provide its students with the healthiest of options.