“Packed with love, not additives”

A nearly unlimited variety of delicious, nourishing foods can travel inside a lunchbox.

If there are snacks in the cafeteria or vending machines, the dietitian may be willing to include natural options.

If time permits, your child may enjoy preparing part or all of the lunch.
Make sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them. The sandwich will be defrosted by lunchtime. When you freeze sandwiches, omit the lettuce. Wrap it separately and it can be added to the sandwich at lunch time. For variety, pack half the sandwich with one kind of bread and the other half with a different kind.

Make the sandwich with leftover dinner rolls, biscuits, buns, pita bread, flat breads, tortillas or crackers.
Butter the bread before you spread on a filling with mayonnaise; this prevents the sandwich from becoming soggy.
Use leftover meat for sandwich fillings; or the next time you prepare chicken, cook extra legs and freeze them. (They have their own handles.)

A salad with celery, cheese, lettuce, turkey, chicken or tuna makes a good lunch. Include a small container of dressing.
Invest in a wide-mouth thermos. It can be used to carry things such as baked beans, stew,
chow mein, soup, sliced fruit or vegetable salads. Pour hot water into the thermos to heat it before adding hot dishes; pour the water out and add the heated stew, soup, chili, etc…. Or, pour in the hot water with acceptable hot dogs. They will cook and stay hot until lunch. (Pack rolls separately.)
Buy plastic containers with multiple compartments — or buy a “lunch-able” and throw out the contents, saving the plastic container. Fill each compartment with the lunch treat, and send your child off to school with a container like others bring.
Make a fruit cup with canned crushed pineapple, sliced banana, diced pears and nuts. To keep fruit from turning brown, you can add a small amount of lemon juice, pineapple juice or grapefruit juice.

Raw vegetable sticks can be fun to eat, especially if you provide a dip.
Yogurt is a good addition to the lunchbox. Freeze it and it will be ready to eat by lunchtime. You can buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit.
Small cans of permitted juice may be frozen and will be cold at lunchtime. However, it is more economical to buy the concentrate or large cans and put the juice in a thermos or plastic juice box-sized container.
For a new twist, try spreading nut breads with peanut butter or cream cheese.
Don’t forget to include plastic utensils and occasionally a fancy napkin.

A favorite treat or note tucked inside provides a lunchtime surprise.
You may wish to request permission to keep a bag lunch in the school freezer in case your child (or you) forgets lunch one day.
You will find that sometimes you can match your child’s lunch to the one being served at school.

You may wish to contact the Director of Food Services in your child’s school system to see if there are any Feingold acceptable selections available.

The Feingold Association can supply printed information for dietitians or other professionals interested in our work.
To learn about improving the food in your child’s school, visit www.School-Lunch.org.