Back To School Tips For Healthy Lunches

Martin J. Golden

September 22, 2008


Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C, Brooklyn) has released the following tips to help parents prepare healthy lunches for students as the school year begins. The tips were released as a result of the alarming trend of childhood obesity in the United States. The number of overweight children ages 6-19 is currently estimated at 16% and continues to rise according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention.

"Another school year has begun. For parents who will be packing their children’s lunch, it’s time to prepare a meal that provides important nutrients, but is still fun to eat. The bottom line is that small changes in lunch can have huge results when it comes to our young people’s health and performance in school," said Senator Golden.

Senator Golden suggests 10 easy tips to give your child’s lunchbox a nutrition makeover:

Involve your children in lunch decisions,

Encourage your child to choose 1% or fat free milk,

Use whole grain bread instead of white bread for sandwiches,

Leave the cheese off sandwiches, unless it is low-fat or fat-free cheese,

Include at least one serving of fruit in every lunch,

Switch from ham, bologna, salami, pastrami or corned beef, and other fatty lunch meats to low fat alternatives,

Sneak vegetables – like lettuce, cucumber, sweet onions, or roasted peppers onto sandwiches,

Limit cookies, brownies, snack cakes and other sweet baked goods,

Pack baked chips, bread sticks, low fat crackers or pretzels instead of potato, corn, tortilla or other chips made in oil, and

If you pack juice, makes sure it’s 100% juice.

"It is no secret that many lunches are overloaded with fat, sugar, and salt. There are a handful of foods that do the most damage to children’s diets and health. By adding fruits, vegetables and whole grains a first step can be made to a healthier life style," continued Senator Golden.

"What’s in a child’s lunch is important. It’s in childhood that eating habits are formed and obesity, heart disease, and other health issues begin to develop. It is my hope that parents and children can make planning a school lunch a positive experience as well as a healthy one," concluded Senator Golden.