10
September
2020
|
17:12 PM
America/New_York

Asked and Answered – What tips do you have for packing a lunch that will be easy for my elementary school child to open all items?

BY MANJU THOMAS, MD, LVPG PEDIATRICS–EASTON

Packing lunch for an elementary school child should actually be elementary and not really complicated. It starts with using the right lunch box. Make sure it’s easy to carry, easy to open and easy to maneuver. A bento box with a simple latch is my personal favorite and one that I recommend to parents. It’s important to take your children shopping for their lunch box and make sure it’s easy to open and reasonably sturdy.Make sure you don’t pack too many food choices in the lunch box – I suggest no more than three components for lunch. Too many choices sometimes cause kids to feel overwhelmed and they end up eating very little lunch.

Here’s what you should pack:

Main dish –Your child’s main lunch food should have both carbohydrates and proteins – consider foods like eggs, chicken, hummus, etc. It also should be easy to eat, like a sandwich, pasta, pancakes or mac and cheese.

Fruit or veggies – You could pack apple slices, grapes or a peeled orange, or vegetables like baby carrots, cut celery or cucumbers. Use zipper bags when needed.

Drink – Hydration is very important. Kids should have recyclable water bottles and should be encouraged to drink at least twice a day in school. If you pack juice (or other packaged foods like yogurt), make sure your child can easily open the package.

When possible involve your child in the decision-making for what is packed in their lunch.

Tip: Make sure you don’t put hand sanitizer in the lunch box. Consuming hand sanitizer can have very serious health implications for children.

For more tips and information to help you with your children and this back to school season, please visit LVHN.org/schoolpartners.