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What’s For Lunch? Part 1

August 20, 2009

It’s that time of year again…back to school! And as you’re getting your kids ready with new pencil cases, notebooks, and backpacks, you also need to think about what they’ll be eating for lunch when they’re away from home.  If they’re part of a lunch program at school or buying lunch in a cafeteria, are you aware what they are being offered? If you’re sending them off with a lunch box in hand, are you giving them a balanced meal to help them get through the afternoon?

Over the next few days I will be blogging about how to pack a healthy lunch for school-aged kids and how to educate your kids on how to make healthy choices in the cafeteria. But before I get to that, take a look at the top 10 foods children ages 6 to 12 purchase in a school cafeteria versus what they bring from home (data is according to the market research firm, the NPD Group):

Lunches in Cafeteria
Lunches from Home
Milk
Sandwiches
Sandwiches Fruit
Fruit Salty Snacks
Fruit Drinks Fruit Drinks
Vegetables Cookies
Pizza Milk
Chicken Vegetables
French Fries Fruit Snacks
Fruit Salad Yogurt
Cookies Crackers

I was happy to see that fruits and vegetables were in the top 5 foods kids buy at school, but it’s disappointing that schools are still serving so much pizza, french fries, and cookies. On the other hand, what kids are bringing from home isn’t much better with salty snacks, fruit drinks, and cookies rounding out the top 5. What do you think about these top 10 lists?

Stay tuned for my suggestions for healthy and nutritioulicious school lunches!

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