Packed lunch container

10 Tips for Quick Packed Lunches

With all the pizza, chips and soda available in the cafeteria, it’s not always easy for kids to make good food choices at school. Here are some tips for packing healthy, tasty lunches to keep your child’s mind in peak learning condition.

How to Pack a Better Lunch

1. Stick to a budget.

Packing lunches can be a lot cheaper than buying school lunch, and even a small amount of money can go a long way.

2. Prep lunches on the weekend.

It can be hard to find the energy to prepare lunches during the week, so set aside some time to prep for meals during the weekend.

3. Leftovers are a lifesaver.

Cook a larger dinner that your family can eat in one night, and you’ll have fresh, delicious lunches waiting in the refrigerator the next day.

4. Staples reduce stress.

Make some quick staple lunch items ahead of time. Bag up several peanut butter sandwiches and apple slices for your child to grab when you’re short on time.

5. Find balance.

There’s a lot of room in your child’s lunchbox for great nutrition, but don’t be afraid of a low-sugar dessert to satisfy their sweet tooth.

Balance protein, fruit and veggies.

6. Keep it simple.

Nutritious doesn’t have to mean complex; stock up on small plastic containers to pack fruits, whole-grain crackers and hummus.

7. Skip the soda.

Packing milk or water can help cut out cola and all the empty calories that come with it.

8. Sandwiches—the total package.

You can pack a lot of nutrients between two slices of bread.

Sandwiches make a good packed lunch.

9. Mix it up.

The same lunch day after day can be a real bore. Try to pack different foods throughout the week so they don’t look to the snack machine for variety.

10. Ask for input.

It’s your child’s lunch, so let them have a say in when they want to eat. That input helps them learn about making healthy eating decisions.

Want more tips about how to pack healthy options into your daily routine? See more Diet and Nutrition posts on Health Minute.