Back to School Lunches

— Written By Patti Snyder
en Español / em Português

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School is expected to start soon, so it’s back to early mornings and packing lunches. Keeping the MyPlate guidelines in mind will help provide your child with a complete lunch and will provide them with plenty of options. Involve your child while you are packing lunch, this will help them become excited about what is for lunch that day, while also giving them a sense of responsibility knowing they helped pack their lunch. Talk about the foods they are getting in their lunch that day and what kind of nutrients they provide for their growing bodies.

Tips :
1. Keep it simple. Younger children often like meals with fewer ingredients.
2. Include fresh fruits and vegetables. Freshness in fruits and vegetables decreases with age.
3. Provide variety. Make sure choosy kids have enough to select from.

MyPlate chart

Below I have included five different lunch options with a nice variety, along with how the food is classified in MyPlate. I have also included links for lunch boxes and water bottles.

Option #1 – Hummus – Protein
Pita Bread – Grain
Grape Tomatoes – Fruit
Cucumbers – Vegetable
Sliced Oranges – Fruit
Sliced Cheese – Dairy

Option #2 – Turkey and Cheese roll-ups – Protein and Dairy
Berries – Fruit
Yogurt – Dairy
Trail Mix – (depending on type of mix it could have, protein, grains, and fruits)
Carrots – Vegetable

Options #3 – Cheese and Black Bean Quesadilla – Protein, Dairy, and Grain
Guacamole – Vegetable
Salsa – Vegetable
Tortilla Chips – Grain
Strawberries – Fruit

Options #4 – Chicken Pasta with Green Peppers – Protein, Grain and Vegetables
Yogurt – Dairy
Granola – Grain
Berries – Fruit

Option #5 – Peanut Butter and Jelly with Whole Wheat Bread (almond butter or sunbutter) – Protein and Grain
String Cheese – Dairy
Grapes – Fruit
Celery Sticks – Vegetable
Larabar or Clif Bar – Grain

Lunch Box #1
Lunch Box #2
Water Bottle

Written By

Patti Snyder, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionPatti SnyderExtension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Call Patti Email Patti N.C. Cooperative Extension, Stokes County Center
Updated on Aug 12, 2020
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