Amidst hectic school-year schedules, here are some tips to make sure healthy packed meals aren’t an afterthought.
1. Choose any 1 fresh fruit. For example: grapes, apple slices or rings, any melon chunks (cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon), any berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries), or banana slices.
2. Choose any 2 vegetables. For example: carrot coins or sticks, cucumber, broccoli, bell pepper strips, asparagus spears, summer squash ribbons, or grape tomatoes.
3. Choose any 1 healthy protein. For example: Beans, edamame, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, hummus, veggie burger, roasted turkey or chicken slices, or a hardboiled egg.
4. Choose any 1 whole grain. For example: whole-grain pasta, bread, and crackers, brown rice, steel cut oats, and other minimally-processed whole grains.
5. Incorporating dairy (if desired). For example: unflavored milk, plain Greek yogurt, small amounts of cheese like cottage cheese, and string cheese. For dairy-free options, try soy milk and soy yogurt, which contain similar amounts of calcium, protein, and vitamin D as dairy milk.
Source of information: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2016/09/21/back-to-school-fuel/