In the whirlwind of shopping for school supplies, clothes, and groceries, a balanced lunch can fall to the sidelines. It may seem easier to turn to the school cafeteria, but the average school-provided lunch often doesn’t measure up to a healthy homemade one. This doesn’t mean lunch has to be expensive: packing your own lunch is possible for only $2-$3/day and, in the process, you will help build a lifetime foundation of healthy habits for your child.
To make back-to-school a little less overwhelming, we’ve searched high and low to bring you four mix-and-match brown bag lunch ideas to help maintain healthy teeth and keep your kids smiling.
PB&J on whole wheat bread with sides of cucumber slices, yogurt or ranch dip, and string cheese
Peanut butter is a great source of protein and fiber, while cucumber is one of nature’s toothbrushes. Cheese is high in calcium and phosphorus, which promote strong tooth enamel. For an added boost, whole wheat bread contains more natural vitamins, minerals, and fiber than white bread.
Turkey and cheese rolled together with sides of apple slices, baby carrots, and Greek yogurt
Turkey, cheese, and Greek yogurt power this protein-packed meal. Apple slices and baby carrots are both high in fiber and fun to eat (and crunchy, too).
Bean salad with sides of melon wedges, whole-grain tortilla chips, salsa, and reduced-fat cheddar cheese cubes
Beans can provide the foundation for a balanced lunch with high density protein and melon contain fiber. Just be sure not to overdo it on dried fruits which are high in artificial sugars and stick to teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
Sliced hard-boiled egg with sides of bell pepper strips, blueberries or strawberries, and a mini corn muffin
For this lunchbox, eggs provide the protein, bell pepper and fruit contain fiber, and a mini corn muffin is a teeth-friendly alternative to packaged sugary desserts.
A nutritious midday meal ensures your child has the energy and focus needed for the entire school day and it can even have a positive impact on their report cards. Packing a teeth-friendly school lunch doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive as long as you plan ahead and encourage kids to help choose from a variety of healthy options, so the whole family can take control of their health!