To pack or not to pack? Study shows many packed school lunches are unhealthy

school-lunch-health

RED LION, Pa. (WHTM) – To pack or not to pack? A new U.K. study shows most packed school lunches are lacking nutritionally.

Mini Truett packs lunch for her 11-year-old son Kyle. He’s a student in the Red Lion Area School District.

“We have a menu that we print out and keep on the counter, and every morning we look at it with Kyle, my elementary school kid, and he decides if he wants to pack or buy that day,” Truett said.

The study shows 46 percent of kids have a sweetened drink for their packed lunch. Nutritionists say milk or water is better.

“They did have a nutritionist up at school last year who talked to him about changes to make,” Truett said. “That got us to go to the flat bread instead of the usual white bread, so that made a change for us.”

Truett is on the right track. Nutritionists say you can use flat bread or wheat bread instead of white bread if you pack your kids lunches.

“He’s always got to have a fruit. He doesn’t really eat vegetables, so as long as I can get a fruit in there, which is either kiwi or grapes, he’s happy. Then I have to give him some kind of a little snack that he’ll really like, which is usually the low-fat pudding,” Truett said.

Some other healthy lunch tips for your kids include getting at least two portions of fruits and vegetables, and try to prepare lunches with them the night before.

“I think it’s really important to be healthy because what we feed them now is what’s going to grow with them during their lives,” Truett said.

Nutritionists also say to avoid sugary drinks and processed foods and make sure your kids get lots of fruits and vegetables in their school lunches. A lot of kids like to eat with their hands, so cut up healthy foods, such as carrots and apples.

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