Packing a Healthy School Lunch

Labor Day is here bringing barbecues and a last chance visit to the beach, but it also heralds back-to-school and packing lunches.

Packing a Nutritious Lunch

The USDA has replaced the Food Pyramid with MyPlate guidelines making family nutrition easier.  The icon shows a plate that is half full of fruits and vegetables, and the other with grains and protein. The icon clearly shows that your plate should have more vegetables than fruits, and more grains than protein.

One reason why proper nutrition is so importantHealthy Lunch and Breakfast Keep Students Alert

Kidshealth.org is a great resource for parents and kids. The site has a component specifically geared towards kids, another for teens, and another for parents. 

Kidshealth.org information for Kids – There is information regarding school lunches: To Buy or Not to Buy, 10 Steps to a Great Lunch.  There are recipes that kids can make for themselves or with the help of an adult, all with information regarding preparation time, ingredients, equipment, directions, servings, and nutritional information.  Why not give one a try?  Here’s a quick and easy recipe for Pizzadilas with Red Sauce that you can eat at home or safely bring to school.

Kidshealth.org information for teens –  5 Reasons to Pack Your Lunch.  “Control, Variety, Energy, Cold Hard Cash, That Warm Fuzzy Feeling”

Kidshealth.org information for parents – School Lunches with information such as lunchtime opportunities, healthier alternatives, nutritional upgrades, healthy packed lunches, and safe packing.

Safe Lunches

A new study in the journal Pediatrics indicates that “nearly all lunches packed from home get too warm to prevent foodborne illness despite use of ice packs”

Medical News: Brown Bag Lunches Prone to Overheating – in Pediatrics, Parenting from MedPage Today.

Watch a video from Healthday regarding this study.

So how do you keep lunches safe?

The USDA has prepared a fact sheet Keeping “Bag” Lunches Safe” – Keep Foods Clean, Keep Cold Foods Cold, Keep Hot Foods Hot.

You will also find information from FoodSafety.gov.

Have a safe and healthy back-to-school.

posted by – Susan, Health Reference Services

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This entry was posted in chooseMyPlate, Kidshealth.org, School Lunch, School Lunch Safety, USDA. Bookmark the permalink.

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