Lunch is important for you and your kids! Lunchtime is your child's time to refuel after a busy morning. Repeated studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast and lunch do better in school.

Kid friendly tips for a super sack lunch

  • Involve kids in packing their lunches, let them pick out nutritious foods they will like and eat.
  • Make dessert a nutritious part of your kids' lunch. Use fresh fruits instead of candy bars or high fat cookies. Avoid packing them high calorie, low nutrient foods such as chips and soda in lunches.
  • Include at least one serving of fruit, a serving of protein (such as lean meat, egg, beans, peanut butter), and use vegetables creatively - as sandwich garnishes, in a salad, or cut up with low-fat dip.
  • Remember, your kids are growing! But the right amount is usually not as big as an adult portion.

Keep in mind that kids like 

Cut up fruits and vegetables in smaller sizes.

Use cookie cutters to create fun shapes in lunch foods.

Add bean or yogurt dips, low fat dressing, or salsa.

Don't worry if your child chooses the same food day after day. Include favorite foods with new ones.

Occasionally including a note or treat makes lunch fun.

Keep it safe

  • Use an insulated lunch bag or double bag paper sacks. 
  • Keep cold food cold by using a frozen chill pack or freeze a juice box or water bottle.
  • Keep hot foods hot by using a thermos and heating foods to 165°F or boiling before packing.
  • Remind kids not to eat leftovers from lunch that need to be kept cold or hot. For example, crackers are OK to eat, but a tuna sandwich is not!

Build a lunch

For a healthy lunch, choose foods from at least four of the five food groups. For example:

GRAINS: Whole grain bread

VEGETABLES: Carrot sticks with hummus

FRUITS: Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon

DAIRY: Low-fat milk

PROTEIN: Peanut butter or egg salad sandwich

Leftovers for lunch

Create tomorrow's lunch while putting away dinner from tonight. This saves cleanup time.

  • Wrap leftovers like vegetables, rice, and meat in a tortilla. Pack a small container of salsa with the wrap.
  • Rinse and drain a can of beans. Combine with leftover salad and dressing.
  • Take leftover chili, soup, or stew in a microwave safe container. 

Featured Recipes

Apple Wrap

Spread peanut butter over one side of tortillas.Sprinkle apple and banana over peanut butter.Tightly roll each tortilla. Cut each wrap in half.

apple wrap

Black Bean and Couscous Salad

Before starting to prepare the recipe:Wash red or green pepper and cilantro (ifusing).Wash and juice the lime into a small bowl(if using).Drain and rinse the black beans and corn (ifusing canned corn).Collect, mince, and measure all ingredients.Bring broth to a boil in a small pot and stir in the couscous.Cover the pot and remove it from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes.In a large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, cumin, and lime juice (if using).Add beans, onion, green pepper, and corn to the vinegar and oil mixture and toss.

 black bean and couscous salad