The one meal everyday that is my absolute favorite is lunch. We homeschool, so I can pretty much make sure that we eat a really good healthy meal. If we are going to eat a hearty dish, lunch time is where I like to make it because then there is still time to work that off later in the afternoon. However, for many children they do not have that option. So what does a healthy lunch box look like?

We are talking today with Kristin Johnson a healthy living advisor with Meijer and we are here to talk about lunch box nutrition.

Hi Kristin how are you today?

Kristin: I am good, how are you doing?

I am doing great thank you. Let’s first talk about why lunch box nutrition is so important.

Kristin: Well, it’s very important and you know childhood obesity is on the rise. One in three children are overweight or obese. We really want to start at an early age for kids developing these healthy eating habits so that they can take them into adulthood.

What are some of the ways that you might get your child involved in preparing their food so that they can get the right eating habits?

Kristin: And that’s a great question cause that’s probably the hardest part about healthy eating is just getting kids involved, getting them involved in the grocery shopping, have them pick out some healthy food items, give them choices, what are their favorite foods/ favorite vegetables? And put those in the lunch box. Get them involved in the kitchen with the whole preparation of the lunch box packing. Have them spread, have them mix, have them chop if they can and just have them assemble some of the meals with you.

Can you give us a couple of ideas of what a nice healthy lunch box would look like?

Kristin: Yeah absolutely and you know not only do we want to make it healthy but, we want to make it easy too. Here we have a lunch box taco salad this is just kind of a fun idea for a salad and a way to pack that nutrition in to the lunch box. We have our beans good source of protein, we have a fresh sauce, whole grain chips, romaine lettuce. So a lot of great nutrition in there that they can take with them and assemble and take to school which is really fun for the kids. We also have cucumber boats with just tuna salad in there, chicken salad you could stuff into the cucumber boats so that the cucumber can be a vehicle for that added nutrition. And then just a twist on your sandwich here we have a sandwich kabob with low fat cheese, some leaner meats like our low sodium turkey. So just adding a little creative touch on some of your traditional dishes.

 And making it fun it looks like!

Kristin: Making it fun absolutely and kind of our rule of thumb we like to say it’s as easy as 1-2-3 so, when packing a lunch you want to make sure you are packing a lunch you want to make sure you are including a protein or dairy source, number two some sort of whole grain in there so whole grain bread or whole grain pasta and then number three just including a serving of fruit or vegetables. Sticking with those three tips and it’s easy to pack a nice healthy lunch.

Well thank you so much for your time today.

Kristin: Thanks for having me. “We have a lot of good information on our website at Meijer.com, and also MeijerMealBox.com we have a series of videos that show you how to put a healthy lunch box together, and a lot of good recipes to go with it.”

So–what do you think a healthy lunch box looks like?

 

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