Starting back strong: Packing healthy lunches

As students head back to school, many parents are now thinking about what to pack for their kids’ lunches . Registered Dietitian Sheena Gregg said the main rule of thumb is to keep it simple.  it is important to make sure to keep cold foods cold and hot foods hot. Along with packing foods you know your child likes, Gregg has some tips on how to safely store a sandwich. 

“If it is a sandwich that includes deli meat and cheese, you don’t want it to go longer than two hours at room temperature,” said Gregg. “So if you know that your child is going to have a later lunch in the day, you definitely want to add a cold pack in there. Now if it is a sandwich with components like peanut butter and jelly, then that is shelf stable and will be fine at room temperature for a long time.”

Healthy lunches and snacks help children concentrate and play throughout the day. Gregg said you should encourage your children to be involved in their own lunch preparation and discuss choices with them. Try to include a variety of foods from each of the food groups.  Gregg said some healthy snack options for children include Greek yogurt, fruit, peanut butter, and granola bars. 

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