Inside the Lunch Box: Healthy, Fun Food

September 06, 2007

by Jean Saunders, HSC School Wellness Director

Two down, 173 to go!

That’s lunches packed to date and the number of school days remaining this year. So far, the reports from my son have been very positive (he ate his healthy lunch and enjoyed it!), but can I keep up this pace? Likely not without some help!

This time of year, lots of resources are available to help those of us who pack lunches for our children to take to school. I particularly like the “Healthy Make-Ahead Lunch Tips” from MSN.com.  For example, the article suggests:

Presentation makes it taste better! If you want to encourage your child to eat more fruits, veggies and healthy snacks, toothpicks might be the answer. Cubes of Cheddar or Gouda cheese stacked with grapes or melon balls will give those foods more appeal.

There’s no rule that “lunch” means “sandwich.” A thermos of soup can save the day and spicy Asian noodles, creative wraps or mini meatloaves all work well as portable lunch fare.

My dad, who lives in Canada, pointed out this good lunch resource from the Toronto Public Health Department [pdf].

Both resources emphasize the role of involving kids in making the lunches they’ll take to school. The articles reminded me that when we combine our food preparation skills and our imaginations, my son and I can come up with lunches that are as appealing as they are healthy. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to enlist my 10-year-old sous chef in the lunch-making process.

If you have any ideas you’d like to share, send them our way!