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How to Pack a Healthy School Lunch

My PlateLEXINGTON, Ky. (7/24/13)—Making sure your child eats healthfully can be a challenge when the school year begins. Everyone wants his or her child to be healthy but also excited for the midday meal. Melissa Smith, A Registered Dietician at the Lexington Health Department said the easiest way to do this is to lead by example.

“If the kids see adults eating healthy around them, they will want to eat the same things,” said Smith.

The USDA’s My Plate illustrates the five food groups that are the building blocks for a healthy diet using a familiar image—a place setting for a meal.  

“We encourage parents to keep this concept in mind while packing their child’s lunch for school,” Smith said. “If fitting all five food groups into one lunch isn’t possible, three of the food groups will be sufficient as well.”

According to Smith, it takes a child 10 to 15 times trying a food before they find out that they like it.

“Just be persistent with the fruits and vegetables,” she said. “By cutting them up into smaller pieces or shapes it can spark a child’s interest into eating them.”

Along with fruits and vegetables, My Plate shows the importance of whole grains and protein. A healthy lifestyle starts at a young age, and by giving kids healthier food options now they will be more than likely to choose them later on in life.

For more information about the guidelines of My Plate and other healthier lunch box options for all ages visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov/.

Bonnie Dailey
SurfKY News
Photo provided by choosemyplate.gov

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

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