C+ for Brown Bag Lunches… 5 Tips for Packing a Nutritious School Lunchbox

August 15, 2014 at 4:50 pm Leave a comment

Parents Need to Step up Brown Bag School Lunches

Parents Need to Step up Brown Bag School Lunches

Normally on MommaJam, we don’t speak about school until September.  But, a new Study from Tufts University is making headlines this week, suggesting that school cafeteria options are now healthier than home packed lunches and snacks.

Jeanne Goldberg, Ph.D., R.D., a professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University who wrote the report says, “Lunches (studied) were comprised more of packaged foods than anything else.  Almost a quarter of the lunches lacked what would be considered an entrée, such as a sandwich or leftovers, and were instead made up of a variety of packaged snack foods and desserts.”

The study found that only 27% of the lunches met at least three of the five National School Lunch Program standards.

In some ways, that is good news:  the government now has strict nutrition guidelines for school lunches.  But, parents packing lunch boxes need to step it up.

This week’s MommaJam covers school lunches with tips for how to get an A+.

 1.  Serve dinner for lunch.  If you’re making homemade pizza, chicken cutlets or chili for dinner, make extras for school lunch the next day.  This routine will make your life much easier through the week.

2.  Go for easy protein, says Denise Herrera, the top chef at Burtons Grill, Hingham.  “Try hard boiled eggs for lunch or snack.  Pack Greek yogurt-based dips and hummus for veggies like cucumbers and carrots and Baby Bell cheese.

3.  Be resourceful.  Freeze organic yogurt tubes and add them into lunch boxes as a cold pack.  By the time lunch rolls around the yogurt will be thawed enough to eat.  Avoid the high sugar types.

 4.  Pack water.  Skip the sugary juice box and send along a bottle of water instead to get your child in the habit of working toward his/her optimal fluid intake (experts recommend one consume about .5 ounces of water per pound of body weight), says Merilee Kern, the creator of the new ground-breaking “Kids Making Healthy Choices” APP for children, parents/caregivers and educators (available on iTunes) for $2.99.  The app has recipes and meal ideas and more.

5.  Pack real food, not packaged junk.  “Tuna fish is packed with oh-so-beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids.  Mix it with low-fat mayonnaise and diced apple for a wrap or sandwich,” says Kern.  “Almond Butter Banana Bites are great for snacks.”

95.9 WATDTo get more information and to hear WATD’s South Shore Morning News Co-Hosts Rob Halaka and Lisa Azizian reminisce about their home-packed lunches, click the arrow for the MommaJam replay on Aug. 12, 2014.  We talk lunch and more with tips and information about healthy eating for kids.

We’ve covered Healthy School Lunches extensively on MommaJam.  Here’s a link to more ideas and resources:

Tips for Healthy School Lunches

Interview with Burtons Grill Top Chef Denise Herrera:  Packing a Healthy School Lunch

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: Healthy School Lunches & Tomato Season

Back-to-School: Go Trash Free with Laptop Lunches

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: Green Chic Snack Bags & Retro Lunch Boxes

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM:  Fall Flavors – Interview with Burtons Grill Hingham

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: 6 Tips for Healthy Grocery Shopping

MommaJam on 95.9 WATD-FM: 6 Tips for Getting Kids to Eat Real Food, Not Junk

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Tune into MommaJam every Thursday at 7:10 a.m. on 95.9 WATD-FM.  Listen live on the radio dial or from your desktop, phone or tablet.




Entry filed under: 95.9 WATD-FM Radio, At Home, Cooking, Green Living, Health & Fitness, South Shore. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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