Healthy Lunches

Workout Meals
As summer comes to a close and kids start heading back to school, health experts say it’s important to get back into the routine of packing healthy lunches.

Julie Hill, a registered dietitian with Lee Memorial Health System, says planning ahead is important. “Packing the night before is always my recommendation and packing a head of time. Even getting the kids involved with helping to pack their lunch can sometimes help with making sure that they’re making those better choices too.”

Hill says keeping the meal simple is key. If it’s a sandwich, try whole grain bread with turkey or grilled chicken or tuna. “Half of the plate should be vegetables, a quarter of the plate should be protein, and quarter of the plate should be healthy grains,” said Hill.

Make the meal fun by adding something new and healthy to try each day. “Even if they don’t like something try to pack it. Even if they take a bite of it and throw the rest away they’re at least trying to get some of it in,” said Hill.

She suggests instead of packing a bag of chips or cookies, try celery and peanut butter, or carrots with ranch. Having a well-balanced meal will help them when it’s time to return to class. “If children are sitting there hungry, even if they weren’t hungry at lunch time, their focus is going to go down and their grades will go down,” said Hill.

If children skip lunch they also tend to be hungrier in the afternoon, which can lead to consuming larger portions and poorer food options.

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Lee Memorial Health System in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of medical care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For nearly a century, we’ve been providing our community with everything from primary care treatment to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries.


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