Healthy Swaps: School Lunches

Packing a healthy lunch that your kids will actually eat can be tricky. We took a look at some less-than-healthy school lunch staples and gave them an upgrade. Tuck these better (but still yummy) options into your little one’s lunchbox.
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FNM-OatmealCookie02-002.tif

Food stylist: Stephana Bottom

©Hearst Communications Inc., 2010

Hearst Communications Inc., 2010

We're celebrating Back To School week on Healthy Eats, and we know that packing a healthy noon meal that your kids will actually eat can be tricky. We took a look at some less-than-healthy school lunch staples and gave them an upgrade. Tuck these better (but still yummy) options into your little one’s lunchbox.

Instead of: Bologna and mayo on white bread
Choose: Turkey and cheese on wheat bread

The Payoff: Less fat, more protein and calcium from cheese, and extra fiber from whole grain bread – a lunchtime trifecta!

Instead of: Pudding cups
Choose: Greek yogurt with a swirl of honey or jam

T he Payoff: No preservatives, less sugar and a calcium and protein boost

Instead of: Fruit snacks

The Payoff: More real fruit and no artificial colors or flavors

Instead of: Fried chicken nuggets
The Payoff: Less fat and grease and more protein
I nstead of: Snack Cakes and cupcakes

The Payoff: Cookies are portioned controlled (one is all you need), fiber from oats and natural sweetness from raisins

TELL US: What lunchbox upgrades do you make?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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