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       Volume I - August 25, 2007

The "Do's and Don'ts"
of School Lunch

by Patty Liston

According to health experts, the children of this generation are tipping the scales and raising the rate of obesity as we have never seen before.

It doesn’t take a brain-surgeon to know that much of the problem stems from lack of exercise, and high-fat food intake. Starting today, and throughout the month of September, we will have ideas for healthy and fun recipes for school lunches, and after-school snacks.

To ensure “buy in” from your children, remember to never use the word “healthy”. This always conjures up in the minds of our children the taste of card-board, and social embarrassment. Let’s face it; many adults have the same challenge.

Here are some simple ideas and substitutes that your children may not even recognize:

1. The Smoothie recipe listed in the Breakfast article
2. Switch to whole grain bread
3. To make fruit more exciting in the lunch-box, add some yogurt for dipping the fruit into.
4. Switch to 1% or fat-free milk.
5. Instead of fat-filled chips, try using baked chips, pretzels, or bread sticks with a little cup of almond peanut butter for dipping.
6. Use 100% juice boxes instead of the others
7. Instead of bologna, switch to chicken, turkey, low-fat ham or roast-beef for sandwiches.
8. Add sliced green and/or red peppers, broccoli, or cherry-tomatoes to the child’s lunch. Again, include a dipping sauce such as low-fat ranch dressing, or home-made vinaigrette.


1. Almost flatten a piece of whole grain bread with a rolling pin.
Spread almond peanut butter, nuts, and low-sugar jelly over bread.
Roll the bread from one end. Voila! Spiral you have a spiral sandwich!
You can also use low-fat meats, lettuce, and pickles. Same method, different ingredients.

2. Sandwich on a stick:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Low-Fat Meat
  • Lettuce
  • Grapes
  • Cubed Bread

    Just skewer like a kabob. Great way to include fruits and veggies to a child’s lunch.

    3. I know, I know. As if you have time for this — but kids love it! Use cookie cutters to make different sandwich shapes. Somehow, whatever is in the sandwich doesn’t matter when it is shaped like a flower, pumpkin, or Bat-Man.

    4. For variety, make a sandwich in pita bread

    5. Don’t forget to occasionally add a note to let your child know you love them, or write down a dumb knock-knock joke. They may think it is goofy, but all of these years later, our children still remember the underlying message — that they were loved and thought of.

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