Since school is now back in session, Constance Manion, a clinical and diabetes dietitian with the Certified Diabetes Education Program at Mercy Hospital Ada, has some tips on making school lunches fun and healthy.
"A balanced meal contains protein, fruit and/or vegetables, a carbohydrate and healthy fat,” said Manion. “I recommend having a list of eight to 10 meals that work for your kids and letting them help pick some of the food options, like what type of fruit or whole-grain bread they would like.”
She said it is also important to keep lunches safe by using a frozen ice pack, water bottle or juice box in an insulated lunch box with cold items. To avoid spoilage or leakage, have children purchase milk, chocolate milk or orange juice at school. Also, make sure to wash fruit and vegetables well before packing them in lunches.
Check out these other lunchtime tips from Manion.
Tips for Smarter Sandwiches
Fun Foods for Lunches
Try these tasty snack ideas:
Pre-packaged lunches, like Lunchables, are popular and convenient, but they are expensive and less nutritious. Instead, create your own packable lunch using healthier ingredients. For more fun, pack them into plastic tubs or in colorful plastic wrap. Here are some examples:
This school year, make it your assignment to work with your kids to pack healthier, tasty lunches. For more information, contact Manion at 580-421-1518.