photo: iStock

#NationalNutritionMonth is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all the mums and dads who pack lunches every day for their kids despite their busy schedules! Because we want to help you make lunch packing a better experience, we asked Cecile Cottus, a Registered Dietitian in France, to share some of her tips to make things easier for you on a daily basis. Cecile is bringing us her expertise after years of validating menus for schools in Paris.

Why Lunch Is So Important for School-Aged Kids
Did you know that lunch is actually the real most important meal of the day for a school-aged kid? Breakfast sets us up with energy for the day ahead, after the body has had time to recover during the night. But when it comes to filling up the body and power our kids through their intense school day, lunch definitely holds the place of the most important meal of the day.

In other words, if you are packing lunch for your kid, make time to pack a healthy lunch and take this as an opportunity to provide your kids with all the resources they need to stay active, grow healthfully, and learn successfully throughout the day.

How to Make It Easy, Tasty… but Healthy?
Lunch packing doesn’t have to be complicated. There are small food choices that you can make to simplify lunch packing while covering your kids’ nutritional needs and helping them to develop healthy eating habits.

Here are simple food habits that will help you cover your kids’ nutritional needs while making your lunch packing routine simple:

1.  Fuel their body: Mix grains and veggies

2.  Help them grow: Choose 1 low sugar dairy

3.  Make them chew: Choose 1 raw fruit or veggie

4.  Build them: Choose 1 protein a day is enough

5.  Pleasure: Treats are ok, but not every day

More Tips:

  • Grains: Choose whole grain if possible.
  • Dairy: Less than 10 grams of sugars per serving is ideal.
  • Proteins: Fish fingers and “charcuterie” (deli meat) are not recommended: Choose non-fat proteins like poultry, 5% fat proteins.
  • Treats: Don’t mix bad fat treat with a sweet treat.
  • Check out more of Cecile’s Lunchbox Ideas on Teuko.com

Free Resources to Get Started with Healthy Lunch Packing
1. Check out this free printable: 5 Basics you need to know before you get started with lunch packing.
2. Get inspired: Visit Teuko.com and see what other kids actually eat.

This post originally appeared on Teuko Blog.