What should I pack for lunch?

What should I pack for lunch?

 Here are some tips and strategies from Nutrition Guru Melanie Silverman, MS, RD, IBCLC






A few important things to remember when shopping for food for you child:

Fresh food is best.

1.  Shop the perimeter of the store.  The middle aisles carries mostly processed foods.

2.  If you are buying any packaged foods, I strongly advise that you avoid foods that have:

– high fructose corn syrup

– food dyes (FD&C Blue 1, 2 or 3, Red No. 40, Yellow 5 or 6) or artificial colors and artificial flavors

– preservatives (calcium propionate, sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite, sulfites, disodium EDTA)



  • All lunches should have sources of carbohydrate, protein and fat;  3-4 food items are plenty
  • Drinks should be water or milk
  • Make sure your child can access the food (provide utensils as needed)
  • Watch the SUGAR—read labels




  • Pizzas with spinach and/or mushroom, sliced cucumbers and dip, apple
  • Whole wheat or brown rice pasta and sauce, olives, strawberries
  • Two hardboiled eggs with crackers, handful of nuts and dried fruit, cantaloupe slices
  • Bean and cheese quesadillas, sliced avocado and carrots, apple
  • Cold chicken strips and “sauce” for dipping, olive oil chips, watermelon
  • Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with lettuce and cucumber, edamame and pear
  • Sliced marinated tofu strips, rice, fruit salad
  • Lean roast beef sandwich, red pepper strips, yogurt
  • Scoop of tuna, salmon or chicken salad, crackers or pita, carrot sticks, applesauce
  • Bagel with butter and/or cheese, green beans, raspberries
  • Whole grain cereal, handful of nuts, yogurt
  • Roll-Ups (Whole wheat tortilla, turkey, mozzarella cheese, cucumber and avocado), wheat pretzels, banana
  • Ham and cheese sandwich, popcorn, celery sticks and dip, oranges



  • Laptop Lunches: www.laptoplunches.com
  • Chef Ann Cooper: www.chefann.com.  “Changing the way we feed our children”
  • Eating Well: www.eatingwell.com (search “healthy kids lunch recipes and tips)



Melanie Silverman, MS, RD, IBCLC spent seven years as a clinical dietitian at the University of Chicago Medical Center in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, adult and pediatric bum units, and high risk follow-up clinic.  Melanie is a preceptor for various dietetic internship programs around the country and has lectured at state and national meetings for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, March of Dimes and Prader-Willi California Foundation.  Her consulting practice is based in Laguna  Beach, California, but she provides nutrition services nationwide.   Melanie can be reached at Melanie@feedingphilosophies.com or visit her website at: www.feedingphilosophies.com