Health Watch — School Days: The Lunch Box

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about getting ready to go back to school. Kids who eat a nutritious lunch do better in school, and packing a lunch can save money while improving nutrition, especially if the alternative is junk food from a snack bar or vending machine.

Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the classic sandwich, with either lean meat or peanut butter on whole-grain bread, is a good lunch-box centerpiece. Include vegetables such as carrot sticks and some fruit. Other options are cottage cheese, fruit or yogurt cups. Substitute whole wheat crackers for chips and yogurt smoothies or juice for soft drinks. If kids insist on chips, use baked chips. Pudding cups made with skim milk make a good dessert. For a treat, you can occasionally include a candy bar, but make it a fun-size bar instead of the full-size candy.

Visit to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in nutrition.


August 2008

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