We are proud to offer nutritious, well-balanced meals for our students. We know that kids who eat healthful meals perform better in school. You can be sure that every lunch has a fruit, vegetable, protein, and carbohydrate. We also provide milk with each lunch. For more information on what we are doing to ensure your child is eating healthy meals at school, please view our parent letter.
Tired of Sandwiches for Lunch?
Now that school is back in full-swing, packing the same ol’ lunch can get boring. But there are a lot of great ideas if you think outside the bread box. Here are some strategies for packing healthful (interesting) meals your child will actually eat.
Try something besides peanut butter and jelly.
With peanut butter banned from many schools and cafeterias because of the increasing number of children who have peanut allergies, try serving up one of the following combinations on whole wheat bread:
- Cream cheese and cucumbers, sprinkled with salt and pepper
- Hummus, cucumber, and crumbled feta cheese
- Sliced cheese, cream cheese, shredded carrot and walnuts, sprinkled with salt and pepper
Think Beyond the Sandwich.
Try wrapping different sandwich ingredients in a tortilla (you can even try the flavored ones). Our favorites include:
- Pizza Wrap: Spaghetti sauce, shredded cheese, sliced pepperoni
- Chicken club: Shredded chicken, crumbled bacon, shredded cheese, and light ranch dressing
- Veggie: Cream cheese, crisp lettuce, sliced tomato, shredded cheese, with Italian dressing.
Make it Nosh.
Nosh is another word for a snack or light meal. The purpose of lunch is to provide healthy food to fill your child’s stomach until dinner. Why must it always include a sandwich? Fill your child’s lunch with their favorite (healthy) things to eat, such as:
- Portable yogurt
- Sliced fruit
- Lunch meat rolled up with cheese
- Veggie sticks with dip
- Cheese and crackers
- Tortilla chips with salsa or bean dip
- Pita chips with hummus dip
- Trail mix with nuts and dried fruits
Make it Hot.
Some children prefer a hot meal at lunch time. While it does take a little more morning prep, it’s worth it knowing your child is more likely to eat his or her lunch. Invest in a small, good quality thermos. In the morning before school, fill the thermos with boiling water and tighten the lid. This preheats the thermos and helps keep the food warm until lunch time. Next, heat the lunch in the microwave until it’s very hot. Carefully empty the boiling water, and fill with the hot food. Your child will get the benefit of eating a warm lunchtime meal that didn’t come from the cafeteria. Try including:
- Macaroni and cheese
- Spaghetti or pasta and sauce
- Leftover dinner, such as pot pie or casseroles
- Bean dip for chips or tortillas
- Cheese sauce for veggies or pita triangles
- Refried beans, rice, and cheese for a make-your-own burrito
Don’t Forget Dessert.
Who doesn’t want to end each meal on a sweet note? Despite our best intentions when packing our child’s lunch, there is a good chance your child will trade his or her healthy offerings for bags of chips, homemade cookies, or even cans of soda. Try to circumvent this possibility by including something sweet for your child in each lunch. A cookie, brownie, small piece of cake, or other goodies will help send the message to your child that moderation is key. Sweet things can be a part of a healthy diet as long as your child eats nutritious food as well. Talk with your children about making sure they eat all the items in their lunch and not just the sweet or salty ones. If your child knows a sweet snack is waiting in the lunch box, it lessens the chance he or she will try to barter one of the healthy options for an unhealthy one.
Lunchtime should be a time for kids to energize their minds and bodies, as well as socialize with others. Providing fun and healthful choices for kids goes a long way to having your child look forward to eating his or her lunch. Thinking outside the box may take a few minutes at the beginning, but after a while, you’ll be amazed by how many things you can pack for lunch that you may not have thought of before. We’ve included even more inspirational lunch ideas for you in the links below. Happy eating!
If you ever have questions about our food service program, or if you would like to speak to our child nutrition director, please contact us right away. We are always happy to talk with you!
Director of Child Nutrition
Child Nutrition Manager
In accordance with Federal Law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866) 632-9992 (voice). Individuals who are hearing impaired or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339 or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
De acuerdo con la ley federal y las políticas del Departamento de Agricultura de los EE.UU. (USDA, sigla en inglés), se le prohibe a esta institución que discrimine por razón de raza, color, origen, sexo, edad, o discapacidad. Para presentar una queja sobre discriminación, escriba a USDA, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, o llame gratis al (866) 632-9992 (voz). Personas con discapacidad auditiva o del habla pueden contactar con USDA por medio del Servicio Federal de Relevo (Federal Relay Service) al (800) 845-6136 (español) o (800) 877-8339 (inglés). USDA es un proveedor y empleador que ofrece oportunidad igual para todos.