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School is out for the summer! If you’re a working parent, your kids most likely will be spending a good number of hot days at summer camp or pool. And unlike school where your kids can get lunch, packing lunch is now on your “to do” list every night.

It is something that I will be doing in just less than three weeks when my godson comes to stay for the summer.

I know from experience that packing the same old lunchbox items can quickly get old. I definitely want to keep things interesting, while still providing a healthy balance.

It’s something that I think about just as much as when I pack my own lunch for work. What do I take? Will it hold up throughout the day? Will it be tasty?

It’s real easy to just send sugary foods and drinks. It’s something that I was faced with two summers ago. However, I am lucky to have a child that enjoys fruits and vegetables.  I don’t have to really try and disguise them. I know that is not the case for all families.

So, I thought it was pretty interesting that while attending a YMCA summer camp orientation they gave each parent a “Guide to Building a Healthy Lunchbox.” The guide is meant to help parents and children make better choices as well as give suggestions on what to pack on a daily basis.

The lunchbox is divided into four parts: whole grains, fruit, snacks and veggies.

  • Whole Grains: Make sandwiches with whole grain bread. Look for labels that say “100% Whole Grain:
  • Fruit: Pack fresh fruit each day for snack and lunch. These are conveinent ways to add fruits to your day.
  • Snacks: Pack healthy snacks each day. Add a healthy sweet or savory treat. Try whole grain crackers and pretzels for savory snack or dried fruit for sweet treats.
  • Veggies: Add veggies in your child’s lunch. They add a healthy crunch instead of chips.

We easily have three of those parts down. Typically we would have two of the four in his lunchbox daily. Sometimes we might get three with the fruit, snacks and veggies. While we do not use enriched white bread, I don’t typically purchase 100% whole grain bread.

I’m committed to getting three of the four in his lunchbox every day.

I am looking forward to taking him to the grocery store to help pick out some of his favorite fruits, making quesadillas, unique sandwiches cut with cookie cutters as well as making our own snack mix with cereal, dried fruit, pretzels and M&Ms.

What are some of your most memorable lunchbox goodies your parents put in your lunchbox? Or what are some lunchbox items you plan on packing for your child this summer?

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