It’s that time of year again. Summer is coming to an end and school is coming back into session. Grocery ads are running sales on fruit juice, pudding, lunch meats, breads, and fruit cups. This time of year is time consuming for parents trying to pack lunch and get school supplies in order. Convenience foods, such as: cookies, cakes, desserts, and soda save time packing lunch. But these foods can be easily swapped out for healthier convenient options.
Around the world, food looks and tastes different from lunch boxes and from the cafeteria line. In the US, a healthful school lunch is formulated based upon nutrition guidelines provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA ruled years ago that the Food Guide Pyramid is outdated. In its place, the MyPlate diagram was instituted. However, many school cafeterias serve processed foods along with a choice of vegetable, fruit, and dairy product to meet the MyPlate diagram. It is easy to pack a healthier lunch at home for a cheaper cost:
- Make fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and dairy your main source of food groups
- Construct your plate to consist of half of fruit and vegetables
- Eat variable types of protein (meats, nuts, beans, fish, soy, tofu, etc.)
For more information, check out MyPlate