How To:

Pack the Perfect Lunch

Packing your kids' school lunch is a great opportunity to make sure they have the energy they need to learn and have fun all day long. Packing a wholesome lunch is also important because lunch should account for a third of a child's daily nutrition. The key is packing food that is healthy and that kids will actually eat. Here are a few tips.

  • Make It Nourishing

    Aim for the Lunchbox Four: Key ingredients to include in every school lunch.

    • A protein-rich food such as nuts or nut butters, sliced deli meats, fish, tofu or beans.
    • A calcium source such as milk, cheese or yogurt.
    • Both a fruit and a vegetable to help reach the daily goal of 3 to 5 servings.
    • Whole grains such as whole wheat bread, pasta, couscous and brown rice for fiber and quick energy.
  • Make It Easy

    • Plan ahead by stocking the pantry with easy, go-to lunch items: a well-stocked fruit bowl, cut up vegetables at the ready, wholesome snacks and plenty of sandwich fixings.
    • Pack lunches and refrigerate them the night before so you're not rushing to put them together in the morning.
    • Have assorted reusable containers on hand for speedy, eco-friendly packing.
  • Make It Fun

    Let your little ones know how much you care by dropping in something special.

    • A love note from mom, dad or little brother.
    • A riddle or joke; they can share their answer with you after school.
    • A couple of stickers.
    • An occasional treat packaged in a small container.