Skip Section Navigation


Published on August 11, 2016

Three essentials for a healthy packed school lunch

By Melanie Lawson, News4JAX

healthy school lunches

The lazy days of summer are just about over for everyone. Less time at home with the kids but more time preparing to make sure the school day goes smoothly. One thing families have to consider daily is lunch.

Tabetha Foose is a dietician at St. Vincent's HealthCare. She says a little preparation goes a long way and you need three things.

"A protein, healthy carbohydrate, and a healthy fat," says Foose.

Foose says this combination keeps lunches healthy and filling.

"This will help them so they don't crash in the afternoon cause usually a lot of refined sugars can give them a crash in the afternoon. We want to keep them up to par and keep those brains nice and healthy while they're learning at school," says Foose.

Foose says a meal with whole wheat bread, peanut butter or lunch meat and cheese are good options. Beans are another good source of protein and can serve as a carbohydrate.

"You can make a bean salad. Use beans as a side to grilled chicken breast. Use them in tacos and wraps. There are a lot of different options," says Foose.

Foose says thinking outside the lunchbox helps and don't forget to pack their veggies.

I will cut these up (zucchini and squash) and I can put them in my daughter's lunch. That way she can dip it as a side.

Also Foose says be careful about convenience foods. Take a look at the sugar. Not all bars that look healthy are healthy.

"There are some bars that have a lot of added sugar. This is a Larabar it's just dates and nuts. You get good carbs for you and the nuts are going to be that good protein and healthy fat source," says Foose.

Don't forget to pack the water. Foose says your kids will eat what they have. So it might not be the most popular choice but don't give up on pushing the healthy options.

View the article:

View the video: