Secrets to Making Healthy and Fun School Lunches
Make a healthy lunch that your kids will look forward to eating.
Pick a theme
Tap into your kids’ creative side by following a theme.
- The dip: Cut a baked chicken breast into strips, and pack them with honey mustard for dipping. Add carrots and broccoli to dip in fat-free or low-fat ranch dressing.
- Backwards: Make an inside-out sandwich using lettuce to wrap turkey, fat-free or low-fat cheese, and tomato.
- Mexican food Mondays: Let your child build healthy burritos or tacos with: whole-wheat tortillas, lettuce, fat-free or low-fat sour cream, salsa, brown rice, and beans (not refried).
Keep it interesting
Pack a small amount of many foods. Use lots of containers or a bento-type lunch box to keep things interesting. Bento boxes are lunch boxes with lots of small containers or places for different types of food. They’re a fun way to offer healthy foods. Cut sandwiches into fun shapes, add colorful fruits and vegetables in different sizes, and pack yummy dips such as fat-free or low-fat yogurt or hummus.
Skip the white bread
Mix it up. Use whole-grain breads, pitas, and tortillas. And try new fillings.
- If your child loves PB&J, make a peanut butter and banana roll-up. Spread peanut butter on a wholegrain tortilla, add a sliced banana, and roll!
- Fill a pita with your kid’s favorite veggies. Add hummus for flavor.
- Spread pizza sauce on a whole-wheat tortilla, add low-fat or fat-free mozzarella cheese, then melt, roll, and slice.
Mix up the sides
Go past pretzels!
- Dip apple slices in honey.
- Pack snap peas, sliced bell peppers, or cucumbers for color and crunch!
- Add some variety with air-popped, low-fat popcorn.
Don’t forget–juice and sodas can be high in sugar and calories. Instead, pack water or fat-free or low-fat milk.
Source: We Can! is a program from the National Institutes of Health that offers resources for parents, caregivers and communities to help children 8-13 years old stay at a healthy weight through eating right, increasing physical activity, and reducing screen time. To learn more, go to http://wecan.nhlbi.nih.gov or call 1-866-35-WECAN.
Back To School with Take Heart Programs
The majority of heart disease in our country can be prevented if healthy lifestyles are adopted at a young age. The Hope is working upstream to lessen the burden of heart disease through our in-school Take Heart education programs. These programs incorporate the latest next-generation science and health standards and are inspiring youth throughout our community.
Our Take Heart programs educate young people about how to prevent heart disease. When we teach students how their bodies work and ways they can make healthier choices, we can make great strides in breaking the cycle of disease and creating healthier generations. All of our programs are targeted toward low-resource schools and communities at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
If you know of a district, school or teacher in Washington State that would be interested in our curriculum, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THANK YOU Puget Sound Energy Foundation!
We want to say a BIG thank you to the Puget Sound Energy Foundation, who named us as the recipient of a $8,000 grant award! This grant will support our Heart Restart partnership with South Park Information and Resource Center, allowing us to increase bystander CPR and AED use for Hispanic Communities in the South Park neighborhood.
For more information on our Heart Restart program and the Puget Sound Energy Foundation, visit http://www.hopeheart.org/projects/athletes-take-heart-2/and http://www.psefoundation.org/default.shtml