SACK LUNCH IDEAS - Children need healthy food and drink every time they eat! Wanda Agnew, Dietitian – firstname.lastname@example.org – Bismarck/Burleigh Public Health – 222-6525 Busy Family Tips: Foods should be simple and easy to prepare, ready to eat, and appetizing. Foods such as sandwiches can be prepared the night before or on the weekend, frozen, then taken for each day’s lunch box. Suitable foods to freeze include: Bread Cooked meat Cheese Peanut butter Baked beans Mashed eggs Food Safety Tips: Choose an insulated lunch box or one with a freezer pack, or include a wrapped frozen water bottle to keep the lunch box cool. Follow proper food preparation methods. This is especially important when food will be stored in the lunch box for many hours before eating. Prepare lunches the night before and store in the fridge or freezer. Most breads, sandwiches, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, eggs, meat and protein foods are fine to include in lunch boxes. Perishable foods such as dairy products, eggs and sliced meats should be kept cool and eaten within about four hours of preparation. Don’t pack these foods if just cooked. First cool in the refrigerator overnight. FOOD IDEAS FOR SACK LUNCHES Cereals, breads and starches Whole wheat, brown or rye bread or buns, crisp bread (rye or wheat), whole wheat biscuits, tortillas, Pita bread, hot dog/hamburger rolls, pancakes, mini pizzas, or bagels (buy the whole wheat varieties if possible) Whole wheat muffins or muffins made with fresh fruit like banana, dried fruit like raisins/dates, cheese or nuts; Oat cakes or oat cereal, energy bars if the first ingredient is not sugar or corn fructose Granola cereal or unbuttered popcorn Protein foods Lean cold cuts (ham, beef, chicken, turkey) Grilled chicken pieces (wings or drumsticks) Cooked, chopped or minced meat or chicken/turkey Smoked dried meat (buffalo, beef, etc) or jerky Boiled eggs Canned fish such as tuna or salmon or sardines Smoked fish like salmon or mackerel peanut butter refried beans Milk and dairy foods Yogurt (plain mixed with honey and nuts or fresh fruit, or read-made flavored, low-fat varieties) Cottage cheese (flavor plain cottage cheese with tomato sauce or mashed banana, nuts or dried fruit) Cheeses (all types, use grated, string, sliced, or cut into cubes) Fruit and vegetables Fresh fruit - apples, pears, oranges, bananas, plums, peaches, grapes, figs, pineapple or melon pieces Dried fruit (raisins, prunes, dates, strawberries, apples, etc.) Carrot or celery sticks, baby tomatoes, cucumber wedges, summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, pickles, lettuce, green peppers Vegetable muffins (grated carrots can be added to a basic muffin mix) Cooked pumpkin or mashed potato pancakes Fats and oils Nuts, peanut butter Low-fat or lite salad dressing, or mayonnaise diluted Mono- or polyunsaturated margarines or less than 1 tsp. butter spread on breads, etc Drinks Water and milk are the best drinks for children. They can be frozen to help keep foods in the lunch box cool. Fruit or vegetable juices in small sealed containers or cans are also OK. Sweetened juice drinks, sports drinks, flavored mineral waters, soft drinks and fizzy drinks are high in sugar and not necessary. These drinks increase the risk of tooth decay, are high in calories and low in body building nutrients and may take the place of healthier foods.
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