Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
only search www.healthunit.org

Topics

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Adults / Seniors

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Alcohol / Drugs

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Babies / Children

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Beauty & Body Art

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Clinics

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Dental Services / Oral Health

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Developmental Assets /
Value Every Kid

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Drinking Water

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Emergencies / Disasters

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Environmental Health

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Food Safety

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Hand Washing

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Harm Reduction

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Health Care Professionals

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Health Equity

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Immunization / Vaccines

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Infectious Diseases /
Prevention / Control

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Injury Prevention

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Lyme Disease

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Nutrition

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Physical Activity

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Preconception / Pregnancy

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Rabies

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Recreational Water

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Reports & Newsletters

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

School

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Sewage / Land Control

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Sexual Health

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Smoking / Tobacco

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Sun Safety

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Weather

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Workplace Health

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Home About Us Board of Health Careers Contact Us Media Search
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit

Nutrition - Life Cycle Nutrition
- Toddler & Preschool (1-6 years)

The ABC's of Packing a Kid-able Lunch

The ABC's of Packing a School Lunch with a Punch!

Children spend a large part of their day at school. School lunches and snacks are a major source of the nutrients they need to grow and develop. The foods children have in their lunch give them the energy and nutrients they need to learn and play at school.

Helping kids eat healthy at school is easier than you think. Try to pack at least 3 of the 4 food groups in a school lunch. Include:

  • Colourful vegetables and fruit
  • Whole grains
  • Milk and alternatives
  • Lean meat and alternatives

Try to avoid packing processed and pre-packaged foods like dry noddle or soup mixes, bologna, pepperoni, fatty luncheon meats and pre-packaged sandwiches. The foods are often high in fat and salt, and have few nutrients.

Children do not need juice. Milk and water are more nutritious beverage choices for school and home. If you do pack juice in your child's lunch, make sure it's 100% fruit juice. Avoid fruit ‘punches’, ‘drinks’, ‘beverages’, pops, and sports and energy drinks.

 

So, what can you pack in a kid's school lunch?

  • Make-your-own sandwich. Use a container with compartments and pack it with vegetables, meat (e.g., sliced turkey, roast beef or ham), cheese, and whole grain bread.
  • Switch up the grain product to keep it interesting. Whole grain bagels, English muffins and bread are great choices for sandwiches.
  • Think outside the sandwich. Try a soft tortilla shell to make a “wrap” sandwich, cooked oatmeal and berries in a thermos with raw vegetables and hummus, or a homemade pizza using a mini whole grain pita, pasta sauce, cooked peppers and cheese.
  • Favourite leftovers. A favourite meal from the night before is a great meal for school too.
  • Fill a thermos with casseroles, soups, pasta, or other hot dishes.
  • Raw vegetables with salad dressing or fruit pieces with a yogurt dip.
  • Pretzels, dry whole grain cereal or breadsticks instead of chips.

For more ideas, visit:

 

Make it Kid-able

Children only have a short time to eat, which can be hard with many distractions around. The following tips will help your child make the most of meal and snack time:

  • Use containers that kids can open themselves, with easy to lift tabs so they don't spend too much time trying to get into the container or waiting for help.
  • Pack items that don't need to be opened to be eaten. Single-serving items like a bag of crackers or sealed cheese portions can be tricky to open.
  • Pack containers that are easy to drink out of. Avoid juice boxes if they can't get the straw in themselves, and use easy to open re-useable drink bottles instead.
  • Pack small sized and finger foods like pre-cut vegetables and fruit, cheese cubes, mini stuffed pitas and sandwiches cut into strips that are easier for little fingers to handle.
  • Pack foods that don't need peeling, unless the peel is already taken off.
  • Pack foods that look like foods. Foods that look like toys might end up being played with instead of eaten.

 

Short on Time?

Packing lunches in a hurry is often a big challenge. Try creating a weekly lunch menu. Planning and packing lunches on the weekend or at night will help save time in the morning. Wash and cut vegetables and fruit and put in school containers on the weekend. Pack up dinner leftovers and make sandwiches in the evening. Keep your pantry and fridge stocked with nutritious, kid-friendly lunch and snack supplies that are quick to grab like yogurt, cheese, whole grain crackers, apples, bananas, cherry tomatoes and canned fish.

 

What if they don't eat all their lunch?

Sometimes children will not eat their entire school lunch. For younger children, small portions of food will be more appealing (and less wasteful), as large amounts may seem like too much for them to handle. Experiment with foods that are smaller in size and smaller in quantity.

For all children, let their appetite guide how much they eat. Some days they will eat more than other days. Trust that they know how much food they need. Pack new foods regularly and pack them with healthy foods your child likes. Don't be afraid to pack new foods more than once; children may need to see new foods several times before they will accept them.

Let children help prepare and pack their lunch; children are more likely to eat a lunch they helped make. Give them healthy choices to pick from. Younger children can put snacks in containers, while older children can help make sandwiches or stuff pitas.

 

Remember Food Safety…

Keep hot things hot and cold things cold. Use an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack for foods that need to stay cool. Freeze a bottle of water or juice box to also help keep food cold. Foods that need to stay warm should be heated and put in a thermos. Keep lunches in the fridge until your child is leaving for school. Wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly, and do not reuse perishable foods, like meat, fish, poultry or milk products than come home from school uneaten.

 

Remember Food Allergies…

Schools have different allergy policies, which may apply to the whole school or only certain classrooms. Find out what your child's school/classroom allergy policy is. Keep foods that need to be avoided in mind when packing lunches. Check the ingredient list on food labels to make sure the foods you're sending to school are allergen free.

 

Lunch Packing Resources:




Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit Quick Links


YouTube

Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit
Disclaimer | Privacy Statement | Accessibility | Feedback
Copyright © 2017
In Case of Public Health Emergency Please Call 613-345-5685
Any questions or concerns with the website, please contact Webmaster
Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit
Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit