Most schools are trying hard to upgrade their lunch programs and offer the best food they can. But not every school cafeteria provides appealing, healthy lunch choices. Educate yourself when it comes to what your cafeteria has to offer. How do you take control, bring a packed lunch to school. There are four reasons to pack your lunch:
- Do you ever wait in the lunch line only to find when you get to the front that you don't like what they're serving? So you reach for pizza again. A healthy packed lunch lets you avoid the lunch line and the time waiting in it. Bringing your own lunch also lets you control exactly what goes into the food you eat.
- It doesn't hurt to cave in and enjoy the occasional serving of pizza and hot dogs. But if you're eating these foods all the time, your body probably feels ready for a change. A packed lunch a couple of times a week means you can enjoy some favorites that you might not find at every school like your mom's chicken soup; hummus and pita bread; or some crisp, farm-stand apples.
- If you have a big game or activity after school, plan a lunch and snacks that combine lean proteins with carbohydrates to give you lasting energy and keep you going through the late afternoon. Some ideas: your own "trail" mix of dried fruit and nuts or sunflower seeds, and whole-grain pretzels.
- Pack healthy snacks so you don't feel tempted to step off campus for a fast-food lunch, or hit the vending machine or corner store for chocolate and a soda! Over time, it will help you save money!
Whether you pack or eat in the cafeteria, the most important fact is that you make healthy choices!