How to Prepare Healthy School Lunches

Guest Blogger Terra Wellington is an actress and the author of The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green: Saving the Earth Begins at Home (St. Martin’s Press). In her book, she outlines a Green School Action Blueprint for making greener and healthier changes at your child’s school. terra wellington

For many years I’ve been concerned about the quality of the school lunches fed to my children.

A charter school was my children’s home away from home for several years, and that school didn’t have a cafeteria, so all kids had to bring a lunch from home – one of the best options for most families if you want to improve your child’s lunch diet.

But now that my children are in the regular public school system, it has brought back lots of childhood cafeteria memories … praying my milk wasn’t sour in second grade, shamelessly wishing for tater tots seven days a week as a fourth grader, and watching friends mop up oil off the top of pizza slices with an extra napkin in high school.

Here are some tips on helping your children eat a more healthy lunch at school –

  • Have your child bring a lunch from home, if at all possible. This may not only be the less expensive route, but it also gives you and your child the ability to make a superbly healthy lunch.
  • Embrace your child’s involvement in the purchasing of healthy foods for this lunch and you will be taking advantage of educating your child to eat right at a very young age.
  • Choose organic foods whenever possible for your child’s lunch from home. This will likely not only improve the nutrient levels of the foods your child eats, but is definitely also better for agriculture and the planet.
  • Work with like-minded parents at your child’s school to initiate healthier options for school lunches purchased at school, such as farm-to-school programs and vendors that provide healthier, more sustainable, and organic product options. Realize you are dealing with both federal and school district policies that require patience and group organizing to change.

See Heather’s interview with Terra Wellington about her book The Mom’s Guide to Growing Your Family Green.

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