Packing a healthy lunch box


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — It’s almost time to get back into the school routine.

That means some families might choose to pack some lunches for kids during the school year.

Rob Jensen is very familiar with this time of year.

“We’ve already started school shopping. We’ve already started stocking the fridge with healthy snacks,” Sioux Falls Father Rob Jensen said.

The Sioux Falls man has two teenagers left in school.

“Usually we try to pack if they don’t like what’s going to be in the lunch. Try to give them some vegetables, fruits. I don’t know if they eat it, but we give it to them,” Jensen said.

Produce is a good option.

A Sanford clinical dietitian recommends including 3-4 of the food groups per meal.

“So you know whole grains, protein, fruit, vegetable, and then dairy,” Sanford Clinical Dietitian Tiffany Krogstad said.

Krogstad says there are ways to ease the stress for parents.

“Some suggestions I have for parents is to plan ahead. A lot of times take the weekend or prep food for the week,” Krogstad said.

Parents can also take the pressure off themselves by packing leftovers in their children’s lunch boxes.

A well-rounded meal could help kids in the classroom.

“Studies have shown that kids who aren’t eating breakfast in the morning and then not getting adequate lunch, it’s hard for them to learn and really stay focused to learn what they need to be obtaining from school,” Krogstad said.

“Healthy bodies, healthy minds. You can’t focus, you can’t pay attention, you can’t learn, you can’t work if you’re foggy. I don’t know if you’ve ever been tired and hungry at work, but you become foggy. You becomeā€¦it’s important,” Jensen said.

Krogstad says a treat, such as a small candy bar, is okay.

In fact, she says it helps teach kids about moderation.

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