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Nutrition Tip: Pack a Healthy Lunch

As summer ends and the wind begins to bite, I always miss the hustle and bustle of getting my kids off to school.

They’re grown now, but I remember how excited they used to get when we went to buy their lunchboxes—while I puzzled over how to fill them.

As a working mom and a registered dietitian, my kids’ lunches had to be both easy and nutritious. Peanut butter and jelly on whole grain bread was a lunchbox favorite then as it is now. And though a dab of jelly might be sugary, peanut butter is high in protein and whole grain bread is an excellent source of fiber. If you throw in apple slices, milk, and baby carrots or grape tomatoes, you’ve got a lunch that’s nutritious and delicious.

No matter what you pack in your children’s lunches, you’ll score an ‘A’ if you do three things:

  • as a parent, practice healthful eating yourself
  • involve your kids in food shopping and meal preparation
  • enjoy at least one meal a day with your kids

Don’t forget that nutritious food is just one ingredient for good health. Regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, so after you refuel “Let’s Move!

Ed. Note:   This blog is part of a series of nutrition tips from FDA nutrition expert Shirley Blakely, Ph.D., R.D.