Did you know the average student lunch generates 30 kg of waste per year? Here’s another interesting fact: Not only is a waste-free lunch healthier and better for the environment - it can also save you upwards of $200 each year!
The foods you pack for your child will give them the energy and nutrients they need to learn and play at school. Aim to have at least three of the four food groups represented in your child’s lunch. Check out Canada’s Food Guide to review the food groups.
Involving your children in packing their own tasty and healthy lunch will provide better odds that they will eat and enjoy their lunch. Beat the morning rush by taking time after dinner to prepare lunch with your children for the next day so they can grab their chilled lunch on their way out the door.
Don’t forget to pack a refillable water container, and if your child enjoys other healthy beverages, perhaps some milk or 100% fruit juice packed in a reusable drink container.
Lunch Bag Tips:
- Label your reusable containers and utensils to ensure they make it home each day
- A small icepack in a thermal lunch bag will keep food and beverages cool and fresh
- Only pack as much food as your child will eat to reduce waste
- Read food labels and choose products with as little saturated and trans fats as possible; limit foods and beverages high in calories, fat, sugar or sodium
- Insulated bottles or thermoses are great to keep hot foods hot or cool foods cool
- Take your children grocery shopping with you and encourage them to select their favourite fruits, vegetable and healthy food items to stock your fridge and pantry
- Purchase items in bulk and package in amounts you child will eat in reusable containers
- Remember that our schools are nut-free, so don’t include any items that contain nuts
For more ideas and resources to plan healthy lunches, visit:
- UnlockFood's meal planning checklist
- Health Canada’s meal planning checklist