Shop with the Doc: how to pack healthy lunches

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- For many of you within just a few weeks, it will be time to strap on their backpacks and send your kids off to their first day of school.

Many of you will also be filling up those brown paper bags with lunches.

"It is our job as parents to help our children make healthy and smart choices," said Dr. Pete Sulack, America's Leading Stress Expert.

According to Dr. Pete Sulack, that started with school lunches.

"Too many lunch boxes have only snacks," said Dr. Pete. "They have only treats."

Dr. Pete told Local 8 News it is time to get rid of the bad.

"For most school lunches, they're the most processed, sugar-filled things that we actually give our kids on a regular basis," said Dr. Pete.

Start filling them up with fresh, whole, nutritious food.

"I'm gonna use all the foods groups," said Dr. Pete. "I'm going to begin to allow my kids to enjoy their lunch and allow them to be a participant in how we put these together."

Dr. Pete said it is important to start with a healthy protein.

Protein Options:
Turkey & Cheese Roll-Up
Ham & Cheese Roll-Up
Chicken & Cheese Roll-Up
Hard Boiled Eggs
Cheese/Cracker/Meat Snack Box
Granola & Yogurt
Hummus & Pretzels
Caesar Salad

"It's the good amino acids and proteins that are literally going to give you the energy, so that you don't have those crashes later on in the day," said Dr. Pete.

Next, he said add a fruit or vegetable. It doesn't matter what kind you put in there.

Fruit and Vegetable Options:
Cucumbers
Carrots
Celery
Salad
Cherry Tomatoes
Pickles
Red Peppers
Yellow Peppers
Snapped Peas
Cauliflower
Strawberries
Grapes
Apples
Peaches
Watermelon
Blueberries
Raspberries
Cherries

"They're gonna give you vitamins and minerals that are going to boost the immune system," said Dr. Pete.

When it comes to adding snacks, forget the processed ones.

Here is a list of some possible snack ideas for your child.

Snack Options:
Cheese Sticks
Granola Bar
Organic Fruit Snack
Nitrite-Free Beef Jerky
Organic Apple Sauce
Organic Trail Mix
Carrots & Dip
Celery & Dip
Yogurt
Pretzels
Popcorn
Mixed Nuts
Graham Crackers
Veggie Sticks
Raisins
Applesauce
Z Bar
Rice Cakes

Believe it or not, Dr. Pete told Local 8 News a healthy treat is okay.

Treats:
Organic Yogurt Stick
Organic Frozen Fruit Stick
Organic Cookies
Organic Pudding

During the day, it is important for your children to stay hydrated. Dr. Pete suggested water, organic milk, or organic juice boxes.

Most importantly, Dr. Pete suggested getting your kids involved and guiding them in the right direction.

"Help your child make healthy choices that progress them on this journey to happy and healthy life," said Dr. Pete.