The National School Lunch Program provides nutritionally balanced lunches to children each school day. Contact your school district directly to see if it offers free or reduced price school meals based on household income and family size.
If you’d like to pack lunches at home, here are some tips to keep your kid’s lunches simple, healthy, and inexpensive:
- Think about the MyPlate food groups and see if you can include one item from each group. If that’s too much, try for at least three good groups.
- Focus on protein and fiber to keep little tummies full and happy longer.
- Hard boiled eggs, hummus, sunflower seeds, tofu and turkey are all great protein options.
- Whole grain crackers, bread, tortillas, and cereals are easy to pack and full of fiber.
- For snacks, make a batch of this delicious On-the-Go-Whole-Grain Trailmix and portion it into individual servings for the week. Make it together with the kids and let them customize it how they like it.
- To drink, pack water and skip the juice boxes. Use a reusable water bottle to save money. Ask about buying milk in the lunchroom to balance the meal.
- Use hot/cold packs to keep foods safe and delicious.
Need ideas? Check out MyPlate Kitchen recipes for some great kid-friendly, packable lunch ideas.
Learn more about Healthy Eating for Kids.
Article adapted from Snap-ed Connection