New research on packing lunches suggest some parents doing it wr

New research on packing lunches suggest some parents doing it wrong

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(WJBK) -  New research says when it comes to packing school lunches we may be doing it wrong.

If you peek into packed lunches you might find a few things missing, like fruits and vegetables.
   
Jennifer Willoughby is a pediatric dietitian at the Cleveland Children's Clinic who says convenience is trumping common sense nutrition.

"A lot of these kids are bringing more snack-type foods," she said. "They're bringing sugar-sweetened beverages. most of them don't even have an entree in there. They're just really piecing parts together. a lot of the processed foods that are easy to pack, but not necessarily healthy and nutritious to fuel your kids throughout the day."

Tufts University researchers studied hundreds of lunch boxes among third- and fourth-graders. They found that only 27 percent of them met at least three of the five national school lunch program standards from the federal government.

They include fruit, vegetables, grains, meat or another protein source and milk. That means about three quarters of the lunches weren't finding that healthy balance.

"Put at least a few options in there that you know is going to fuel them," willoughby said. "Because when you're just putting these snack packs in - pretzels, chips, all of the easy, convenient foods they may enjoy it-  but they're going to crash partially through the day and it's really going to hinder them in school."  

Some ideas are:

Make sure you're using 100 percent whole wheat bread or wraps.

Opt for low sodium lunch meat.

Try a hard boiled egg or cheese stick for protein.

Hummus as a vegetable dip.
 
If you pack snack bars, make sure they include less than 10 grams of sugar.

For more creative ideas for health school lunches click on the Cleveland Clinic website here. http://1.usa.gov/YVSN87


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