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How to pack a healthy and convenient school lunch

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ST. LOUIS, MO — This is "Kids Eat Right Month."  That can be a challenge when packing a lunch for school. So we've asked licensed dietitian Jen McDaniels how to fill a lunch box in no time at all.

Here are a few tips:

1. Swap up sandwich bread for whole grain waffles, pancakes, crackers
2. Switch up favorite fruits & vegetables and offer with a dip
3. Include 1-2 fun foods, sweet potato chips small cookie
4. Offer different flavors of yogurt, types of cheese or even add a little chocolate powder to milk

Time savers for you:
1. Pack at night when you are putting away for dinner - reuse leftovers, pack chicken nuggets in a thermos - keeps warm
2. Freeze lunch components: sandwiches, yogurts, drinks
3. Don`t be afraid to rely on a little bit on convenience: packaged apple sauce, pudding, string cheese, yogurt sticks, bagged popcorn (make sure they can easily open)

Time savers for them:
1. Cut it up, but still make it appealing - cut apples, band them together/saran wrap; squeeze of lemon juice on cut fruit
2. Think easy to eat snack foods versus meals to eat with silverware - beef jerky, hard boiled egg whites, cheese, snap peas and cookies
3. Include a straw - sometimes kids will drink more and a bit faster if they have a straw they can use


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