How to Pack a Healthier Lunch for Your Child

Lunchtime is the time of the school day that most children look forward to the most. Many children do not like cafeteria food and prefer to bring their own lunch from home. It is important for school-aged children to get the necessary vitamins and minerals so that they can stay healthy. That is why parents and guardians need to make sure that they pack a nutritious lunch for their youngsters. Here are a few tips to make it easier:

  • Mornings are hectic for both parents and children, so it is best to pack the lunch at night.
  • Do not put mayo on sandwiches. Mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce make great replacement condiments.
  • If you are preparing chicken, grill or bake it instead of frying it.
  • Replace white bread with whole wheat bread.
  • Pack whole grain chips, crackers and fruit instead of cookies.

It is okay to include a few M&M’s or Hershey Kisses, but you should not go overboard with it.

You also want to make sure that the meal you are preparing for your child is safe. Researchers at the Journal of Pediatrics have found that fewer than 2 percent of the perishable food items packed in a lunch box were safe at room temperature. Here are a few additional tips for preparing a safe lunch for your child.

  • Make sure that you put an ice pack in the lunch box if you are preparing something that needs to be kept cold.
  • Make sure that you prepare your food on a sanitary surface.
  • Rinse off all utensils.
  • You should clean to lunch box everyday before it is used again.

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