35 | Winter 2015
acking the kids’
lunches for school
allows you to know
which nutritious foods
they are eating. Here are some
budget-friendly, creative ideas to
keep kids happy and healthy at
MAKE A SMARTER
While some kids prefer the
same thing every day, others
may like a slight switch to their
• Use different breads like
whole wheat tortilla wraps
(choose wraps low in
saturated fat and made with
no hydrogenated oils) or
whole wheat pita pockets.
• In addition to lettuce and tomato, try shredded carrot or
zucchini and sliced apple or pear with a turkey sandwich.
• Try avocado or hummus as a swap for cheese or mayo.
• Try leftover grilled chicken in your sandwich as a switch
LOVE THOSE LEFTOVERS
Think about using leftovers from a family dinner for a lunch
the next day. Use a thermos to keep foods hot or cold until
the lunch bell rings. Some ideas:
• Soup (tomato, vegetable or bean)
• Chili (bean, lentil, vegetarian or made with lean or
extra lean ground chicken)
• Spaghetti (whole wheat with tomato, pesto or
veggie marinara sauce)
• Bean casserole or beans & rice
These foods sometimes have a lot of sodium, so make them
homemade with little or no salt, or compare nutrition facts of similar
products and choose the ones with less sodium.
LET THEM DUNK
Sometimes it’s OK to let your kids play with their food,
especially when they are getting extra nutrition. Try packing
one of these fun dunks with dippers:
• Apple and pear slices to dip into low-fat plain yogurt
or peanut butter.
• Carrot, celery and sweet pepper strips to dip into
hummus, fresh salsa or homemade bean dip.
• Whole grain crackers (choose crackers low in sodium
and saturated fat and made without hydrogenated
oils) or slices of grilled tofu (a soybean product) to
dunk into soup.
GET THEM INVOLVED
When kids help pack their lunch, they’re more likely to eat
that lunch! On nights you have a bit more time, like a Sunday
night, have them choose which piece of fruit or what type
of whole grain bread they want and let them assemble their
lunch. Make this a weekly routine — it’s another great way to
spend family time together.
Source: American Heart Association’s Simple Cooking with
Heart Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable
recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.
Packing a healthy lunch