Your Family

Aug 30, 2010 3:21 PM by (CC)

Packing healthy, tasty lunches for kids going back to school

Back to school means back to packing lunches.

It is not only kids who have to get back in the groove of being back in school.

Parents have plenty of challenges, too, including what to pack for lunch.

Registered Dietitian and mom Susan Kamin has a few ideas to keep your kids eating right.

First and foremost, think variety.

"That's every day as well as throughout the week," said Kamin.

She said it is key to have one food from each of the five food groups: a whole grain, a lean protein such as chicken, turkey, or hummus, yogurt, cottage cheese or another dairy option and definitely a fruit and vegetable.

"When you think about those as a rainbow of color, the more color the better. You're going to get all your various nutrients if you include lots of colors," said Kamin.

Juice boxes are fine every now and then, but not for every day; and treats are ok, but in moderation.

"I would say homemade treats are probably the best option because you can control what goes in. You can use the whole grain flours. You can lessen sugar and butter that might be in it," said Kamin.

Finding the time to make your child's lunch can pay off in healthy ways.

A U.S.D.A. study of 13,000 kids found those most likely to be obese were those who ate school lunches.

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