Healthy School Lunch

Back to School with Healthy Lunches

Why are healthy lunches important? Because our children deserve to be healthy, smart, energetic, and to have strong bodies and immune systems. This week, we've got some tips and recommendations to help you plan healthy lunches for your family. We recommend planning meals that are made up of one quarter grains, one quarter protein, and one half fruits and vegetables. These tips also work for people of all ages who are looking to start or maintain a healthy lunch routine.

Tip #1: Include lots of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals that support a strong immune system and overall health.

Tip # 2: Include whole grains

Look for whole grains like whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice, popcorn, corn tortillas, quinoa, and oats. Grains provide long lasting energy, help regulate digestion, and can improve concentration throughout the day.

Tip # 3: Include lean protein

Add lean protein sources like fish, chicken, turkey, nuts, seeds, and yogurt to support muscle development, to strengthen the immune system, and to feel full and satisfied after the meal.

Here are our favorite examples of some easy ways to combine all of these nutritious foods into one healthy lunch:

Healthy School Lunches

Grains

Proteins

Fruits & Veggies

Sanwiches

Whole Grain Bread

Smoked Salmon
Tuna Salad
Chicken Salad
Grilled Tofu
Peanut Butter
Hummus
Turkey
Cheese
Ham

Spinach
Avocado
Lettuce
Cucumber
Oranges
Watermelon
Pears
Apples
Onions
Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Peaches
Cherries
Cantaloupe
Melon

Tacos and Wraps

Corn Torilla
Whole Wheat Tortilla

Beans
Turkey
Chicken
Tofu
Ham
Meat
Cheese
Hummus

Lettuce wraps
Bell peppers
Chard
Snap peas
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Squash
Zucchini
Grapefruit
Grapes
Bananas
Kiwi

Salads

Whole Grain Pasta
Pasta Salad
Brown Rice
Quinoa Salad
Couscous Salad
Barley Salad

Nuts
Seeds
Chicken Salad
Tuna Salad
Lentils Salad
Beans Salad
Tofu Salad
Turkey/Ham/cheese Salad

Spaghetti Squash Pasta Salad
Potatoes Salad
Cilantro/Parsley/Basil
Celery
Chives
Collard Green
Beets
Asparagus
Rhubarb
Cherry Tomatoes
Brussels Sprouts
Alfalfa Sprouts
Snow peas
Blackberries
Strawberries
Mango
Blueberries
Raspberries

Be creative this school year and help you and your family enjoy a variety of nutritious foods!