HealthWatch--Packing a healthy school lunch

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It's that time of year again.
Your kids are back in school.
They might be buying a school lunch.
Or you may be packing the lunchbox.

As the kids head out the door and climb onto the bus for another school year, they may not be thinking nutrition, but you should.
If you're sending lunch from home, what should be going into that bag or lunchbox?

Regional Health dietetic intern Karley Konkol says, "If they're packing it from home and you have kind of a busy schedule, I'd recommend something quick and easy. More sticking to ready to eat fruits, your apples, your bananas, your string cheeses, something quick and easy to pack so you;re not spending so much of your morning or your evening packing lunches for your kids."

So now you know what food you should be sending the school.
It could be just as important to know what foods to avoid sending.

Konkol says, "I'd definitely avoid sugary snacks like Snickers or anything like that. And if they do want a treat, maybe it's okay to do a mini or something. But I wouldn't, because that often makes them feel more hungry and then they're focused on being hungry as opposed to their schoolwork."

That seems like good common sense ... but may not be what your child would pick as their first choice.
So how important is that good healthy lunch?

Konkol says, "It's important to have a good solid nutritional balance during the day simply because nutrients, food fills your brain. And so for kids going to school, it's absolutely crucial to have those healthy snacks like fruits and string cheese during the day so they can continue learning."

And does that change from kindergarten to high school?
Karley says not really.
She says they may just want a little different presentation.