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Healthy Backpack Lunches Kids WILL Eat

Posted by Joan Salge Blake  September 4, 2012 10:10 AM

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From The Salge Blake Family Dictionary:

FRUSTRATION (FRUH-STREY-SHUHN), Noun. 1: WHEN YOUR KID BRINGS HOME HIS OR HER SCHOOL LUNCH BOX WITH THE SANDWICH, BOX OF RAISINS, AND NAPKIN UNTOUCHED. 2: USUALLY EXPERIENCED BY A PARENT.

Let's face it, at the end of the school day, when you remove your child's lunch box from his/her backpack and find that not one tiny morsel was eaten, you probably don't know whether to scream or cry. You want to scream because all your good efforts seem to be for naught. You want to cry because you know that your ravenous child hasn't eaten since 7:30 am, and it's now 3:30 pm.

After too many of these late-afternoon sessions, I smartened up and had a fireside chat with my son.  When negotiating what to pack for school lunch, consider these ABCs:

Ask your child what he or she wants for lunch.
Be firm and make sure that the majority of it is healthy.
Compromise a smidgen.

Armed with my nutrition know-how, and some major lobbying efforts on both sides, we came up with four acceptable, kid-approved, and parent-approved healthy lunches. Don't forget daily milk money.  On Friday’s, all parents should take the day off. Pack lunch money:

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine
Mexican Monday
Baked whole grain tortilla chips
Salsa (packed in a covered container)
Cheddar cheese, reduced fat, wedges

Clementine
Low-fat milk

Thanksgiving Tuesday Sandwich:
Whole wheat roll
Homestyle turkey breast*
Cranberry sauce
Light mayonnaise
Lettuce
Raisins
                           Low-fat milk
                           (*Cook a turkey breast for dinner on Sunday. Use the leftovers for lunches.)
Roast Beef Roll Up Wednesday:
Whole wheat flour tortilla
Lean roast beef
Light cheddar cheese
Mayonnaise
Lettuce
(Put roast beef, cheese, mayo, and lettuce on flat tortilla. Roll up. Place in container.)

Carrots sticks (1 cup)
Light Italian salad dressing (2
tablespoons)
(Packing tip: Pour salad dressing in bottom of small container. Stack carrots sticks on top. Cover.)
Grapes
Low-fat milk

B.O.B (Big On Bagels) Thursday:
Whole grain bagel with
Light cream cheese
Mozzarella cheese sticks, part skim, 2
Red pepper slices with light Ranch dressing (Packed in container.)
 
New England apple
Low fat milk





Eat Out Friday:
You’re tired..... Pack lunch money. 

What's your favoriate healthy kids' lunch?  Please share.

Next Week:  What's Growing in Your Child's Lunch Box?


Follow Joan on Twitter at: joansalgeblake

Originally published on the blog Nutrition and You!.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, is a clinical associate professor and registered dietitian at Boston University in the Nutrition Program. Joan is the author of Nutrition &You, 2nd Edition, More »

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