Does your child bring a packed lunch to school? Unfortunately many school systems do not have healthy options for our children and packing their lunch is the only way we can be sure they are receiving the nutrients they need.
From fresh produce to lean protein, you want to pack a lunch for your kiddo that will provide fuel and energy throughout the day.
What are the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) for school lunches?
Recommended dietary allowance stands for the average daily intake level of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that meet the nutrient requirements of 97-98% of all healthy people. In general, the minimum that majority of people need to maintain good health. Currently, federal regulations only require schools to serve lunches that account for one-third of the age-appropriate RDAs (4). However, with a-la-carte style lunches, many students are not even getting this.
What does this mean for packed school lunches?
In addition to focusing on RDAs, aim to limit the amount of sodium, saturated fat, and added sugar you include in your child’s packed lunch. Good protein and lower sugar have been shown in studies to increase focus and performance in school.
A main protein source is key with vegetables and fruit.
What are some healthy packed lunch options?
When packing a school lunch, focus on whole foods whenever possible. Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables should be varied and colorful and represent at least half of the meal.
Here are some easy, healthy lunch ideas!
Salad skewers with cheese
Hummus, whoa-wheat pitta and veggie snacks
peanut butter and bananas wrapped around whole wheat tortillas
turkey rolls with berries and veggies on the side
almond butter and jelly, string cheese, mixed berries