Planning Healthy School Lunches

Planming healty school lunches.

Planning healthy school lunches.
Image credit pexels, Katarina Holmes

School is just around the corner! Families are out gathering school supplies, clothes, and food to pack for lunches. Looking up healthy lunches can be fun and inspiring, but it can be overwhelming to come up with nutritious meals for an entire school year. If you’re feeling the back-to-school blues with all the planning and prepping, here are some tips to keep your school lunches healthy and on budget.

Build school lunches using MyPlate.

Build school lunches using MyPlate.

  1. Build school lunches using MyPlate. MyPlate is useful for building healthy school lunches from the five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, dairy, grain, and protein. The MyPlate website provides many tips on eating healthy on a budget, low-cost recipe ideas, and serving size recommendations for different ages.
  2. Make a list before going shopping. If you have a list of lunch ideas and what foods you’ll need before going to the store, you’ll be less likely to impulse purchase more than you need and keep to your budget. Also, check your refrigerator, pantry, and shelves before going to the store. This way, you will know what you already have and won’t purchase double.
  3. Look out for sales at your grocery store. There are many ways to find sales and deals, such as in local papers, store websites, and within the store. Some grocery stores have their own app you can find sales!
  4. Go for store brands instead of national brands. Many grocery stores carry in-house brands to compete with national brands, and most of the time, these store brands cost less than national brands. Next time you’re at the grocery store, take a few minutes to compare store brands to national brands of your favorite items. You’ll see that ingredients and nutritional value are almost identical and for a better price!
  5. Get your kids involved in the planning and prepping. Sometimes kids can be apprehensive about trying new foods for different reasons. One way to encourage them is to have them help plan their lunches. Give them a few options from each food group and let them choose which one(s) they want in their lunches that week. Let them help you pack the lunches the night before or in the morning. When children feel they have some control over their food choices, they are more likely to try new foods and make healthier options.

You can find more about eating healthy on a budget and low-cost recipes at the MyPlate website.

Sources: Eating Smart, Being Active Lesson 3: Plan, Shop, $ave

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at or 1-888-656-9988.

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