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School lunch

A Great School Lunch is in the Bag

Trying to save money? Improve your children’s health? Or maybe a little of both?

Packing school lunches is a great way to help your wallet—as well as your kids’ health. As you’re filling their lunch sacks, aim for veggies, fruits, and whole grains to make up about two-thirds of the meal. For the rest, pack proteins, nuts, and cheese. Try these yummy treats and tricks in your child’s lunch:

Reinvent favorites.

Instead of using white bread, try whole grain bread, English muffins, tortillas, or bagels as the base of a sandwich. Get creative with the fillings: Replace sugary jelly in a PB and J sandwich with apple or banana slices. 

Swap out the salt.

A handful of a fruity trail mix (made of dried fruits like cranberries, apple slices, dates, and raisins) is a great substitute for potato chips, pretzels, and other salty snacks. 

Make it mini.

Cheese, rotisserie chicken, melons, and veggies are easier to eat if you slice them into cubes or chunks. Your child won’t need to worry about cutting things up at the lunch table and will have plenty of time to enjoy these healthy foods.

Don’t forget dips.

Instead of salad dressings and ketchup, spice up a sack lunch with salsa (mango, pineapple, and tomato are kid favorites). Hummus is a tasty partner to cherry tomatoes, whole grain crackers, carrot sticks, cubed foods, and more.

Quick recipe: Snacker’s Special

Combine ½ cup whole-grain toasted oat cereal, ¼ cup roasted nuts, 1 cup air-popped popcorn, and ¼ cup diced dried apples in a plastic bag.
Add ½ teaspoon cinnamon and shake well.
Add a bag of cherry tomatoes and a stick of string cheese, and lunch is served!