Whether you decide to pack a bag lunch or have your child choose from selections at the cafeteria, be sure that at least three food groups are included, particularly fruits and vegetables.
"Only 23 percent of Americans eat at least five fruit and vegetable servings a day," says Holly Hicks, coordinator of wellness programming at the Riverside Wellness and Fitness Center in Newport News.
"So, be sure to include fruits and vegetables in a variety of colors, which not only make your plate visually appealing but also control weight and boost your intake of powerful vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that protect your health.
Colorful examples include:
Orange: carrots, sweet potatoes, oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, mangoes, orange peppers
Blue/purple: blueberries, purple cabbage, plums, blackberries
Red: tomatoes, red peppers, beets, cranberries/craisins, grapes, watermelon, strawberries
Green: broccoli, kiwi, spinach, kale, avocados, peas, cucumbers, zucchini squash
Yellow: yellow peppers, yellow squash, corn, pineapple
"Bag It Healthy" Sample Meal Plans and Recipes
1 whole wheat pita pizza*
1 cup tossed salad (Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, craisins, carrots, cucumbers, 1 teaspoon Sunkist toasted almonds) with 1-2 tbsp salad dressing
1 fresh kiwi
1 cup lowfat milk
1 Quick Bean Burrito*
1 serving mini carrot sticks and sugar snap peas with dip
½ cup Rainbow Fruit Salad*
1 cup low-fat milk
Whole-wheat hoagie sandwich with lean roast beef or turkey, lettuce, tomato, pickles, mustard and 1-2 teaspoon low-fat mayonnaise
Help your child eat healthy
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