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Packing a Healthy Lunch

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  • Written By: Northern Inyo Healthcare District
Packing a Healthy Lunch

Nutritious Foods for Your Child’s Lunch

When packing a lunch for your little one, you want to make sure it's both healthy and tasty. No one wants their child to come home with an uneaten lunch! Here are some tips on packing a healthy lunch that will keep your little one satisfied throughout the day.


Include a Variety of Foods

Moral of the story: Lunch doesn't have to be all about sandwiches! Get creative and mix it up with some wraps, pita pockets, or even sushi. The food a child needs depends on age, activity level, and appetite. However, there are general guidelines for how much from each food group children should eat at lunchtime:


Half of a child's grains in a day should be whole grains. This could mean packing a whole wheat sandwich or including brown rice or quinoa for lunch.


A good rule of thumb is to include at least one half-cup serving of vegetables per lunch. This could be accomplished by packing carrot sticks, celery, peppers, or other crunchy veggies. Adding a small container of dips like hummus or guacamole can make veggies more appealing.


Many fresh options are packed with nutrients and antioxidants essential for growing bodies. A child should aim to eat one piece of fruit per day. This could be a whole apple, an orange, a banana, or a cup of berries. Packing a small container of 100% fruit juice or fruit cups are also good options — but try to choose an option that does not have added sugar.


Protein provides energy and helps kids feel fuller longer. Good lunchtime protein options include hard-boiled eggs, peanut butter or other nut butters, tofu, lentils, chicken, fish, and beans are all great lean options.


Dairy products are rich in calcium and vitamin D, which are important for growing children. A child could get their daily dose of dairy by packing yogurt, cheese, or milk.

Skip the Processed Snacks

When packing lunch for your child, it is essential to avoid processed foods. These foods are often high in sugar, salt, and unhealthy fats. Opt for whole-grain crackers, fruit leathers, or homemade granola bars.

Don't Forget Hydration

Staying hydrated throughout the day is key! Packing a water bottle for lunch is a great way to ensure your child is getting enough H2O. To encourage proper hydration, you could take your little one to the store to pick out a new reusable water bottle — themed with their favorite characters or in their favorite color— so they're excited to use it.

Pediatric Care in Bishop, CA

By following these tips, you can be sure your child will have a healthy and delicious lunch that will give them the energy they need to power through their day.

At Northern Inyo Healthcare District, our team of pediatric specialists is committed to providing the highest quality care to your child to keep them happy and healthy. Book your little one's next wellness appointment with our team today.