How to pack a healthier school lunch

school lunches
Come on Mom and Dad — you can do better than that!
Credit: Metro File

Back-to-school season is just about here, and if you’re packing your kiddo’s lunchbox this year, we’ve got ideas for how to make it healthier, especially since September is National Childhood Obesity month.

Read on for tips from Dr. Natalie Digate Muth, a community pediatrician and senior health strategist with the American Council on Exercise.

Aim for balance: Try to include something from each of the major food groups: a whole grain, vegetable, fruit, protein and a source of calcium, to show your child what a balanced meal includes.

Increase exposure to healthy foods: One of the best ways that parents can help their children develop healthy eating habits is to repeatedly expose them to a wide variety of foods. While children may not accept the new food on the first try, with repeated attempts and familiarity, they will become more likely to develop a preference for it.

Teach portion control: Use plastic baggies, attempt to measure out what a standard portion actually is and try to pick up some inherently portion-controlled items for the lunchbox, like applesauce and string cheese, to help instill a sense of what appropriately sized portions are.

Involve your child: Be sure to include at least one healthy item that your child loves in his or her lunchbox every day, and get your child’s input on what healthy items he or she want you to pick up at the grocery store.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

National

Divers struggle in search for South Korean ferry…

By Jungmin Jang and Narae KimMOKPO/JINDO, South Korea (Reuters) - Rescuers struggled with strong waves and murky waters on Thursday as they searched for hundreds…

National

New Hampshire moves to decriminalize adultery

For the first time in hundreds of years, it's about to be legal to cheat on your spouse in New Hampshire.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.