Healthy Back-to-School Lunches

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As kids head back to school, we want to make sure they're fueled with a well-balanced lunch.

Registered dietitian Katy Keogh with The Little Clinic at Kroger has some tips.

Aim for at least 3 of the 5 food groups in a lunch, one of these should be a fruit or vegetable:

  • Fruit Group

o Whole fruits like apples and oranges travel well
o Canned fruit packed in 100% juice

  • Vegetable Group

o Pack veggies in 1 cup containers
o Cut or ready to eat options like carrots, celery, bell pepper, etc.
o Top sandwiches or wraps with colors: spinach, tomatoes, cucumber slices, avocado, left over grilled vegetables or roasted bell pepper slices
 Aim for ½ inch of veggies on the sandwich

  • Grains Group

o 100% whole grain bread, pitas or wraps
o Whole grain chips or crackers: Simple Truth multigrain crackers, Frito-Lay products: Organic Doritos, Sun Chips, Tostitos Black bean chips (if stocked in store)
o Divide large bags into snack baggies for easy, last minute packing

  • Protein Group:

o Meat/fish sources
 Lunch meat, low sodium
 Shredded rotisserie chicken
 Tuna and/or salmon packets
 Homemade egg salad

  • Plant sources

 Hummus
 Beans
 Nuts and nut butters like traditional PB&J

  • Dairy (or dairy alternatives) Group:

o Cheese, make sure it is cheese, not "cheese food or cheese product"
 Cheddar or Swiss or string cheese - one 1 oz. slice = 1 serving of dairy
o Enjoy an easy to pack yogurt instead
o Horizon single serving low fat milks or soy milk