Healthy back-to-school lunch ideas

Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 2:53 PM EDT
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(CNN) - Balanced meals are important because they give children the nutrients that they need.

But packing those lunches does not have to be hard.

”We want to do it the night before. It’s really great to get that child involved so they can spend some time and make a choice about what they want to put in their lunch,” said Katherine Shary, a licensed dietitian at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Strong4Life.

Shary said letting children have a say about their lunches will help make them more likely to eat them.

”We can use leftover chicken from the night before and turn that into a wrap or a sandwich for the child,” Shary said. “A simple peanut butter and jelly is great and add some veggies with it, and I love to put dip with veggies and fruit. Make that lunch a little bit fun.”

Pasta salad is another good, healthy school lunch idea. Use leftover veggies in whole wheat pasta and add some fruit and a couple of hard-boiled eggs on the side.

Deconstructed tacos with ground turkey or beef, shredded cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and a mini guacamole cup is another healthy option. You can pair this with some fruit.

”They really love to prepare their own meals, so you could make a homemade Lunchable and make it healthier and more filling than what you’re going to get in the store,“ Shary said.

A homemade Lunchable could include turkey, cheese, whole wheat crackers, and some fruit and vegetables with a dip like a nut or seed butter.

Shary said, believe it or not, it is important to pack a treat in your child’s lunch to give them something that they can look forward to and enjoy along with their meal.

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