Look for as much variety as you can. Use different types of bread
(or perhaps crackers, tortillas or rice cakes) for sandwiches; cut
sandwiches into different shapes; look for different colors of fruit
and vegetables.
Enlist your child's help in both choosing the foods for lunch and
preparing them. Don't give too many choices. Set parameters for the
choice: ask whether she would like grapes or oranges, or a peanut
butter or tuna sandwich.
Since time is of the essence, cut fruit and vegetables into bite-
size pieces, peel oranges or tangerines, and make sure food is in
easy-to-open containers.
Try low-fat ranch dressing for veggies and yogurt for fruit to make
this part of the meal more attractive.
If your child likes salads, include bits of leftover tuna, chicken
or beef for added protein.
Jazz up peanut butter sandwiches by including sliced bananas, honey,
marshmallow fluff, sliced apples or pretzels. Surprise! It's not the
same old sandwich anymore.
Leftover pizza is a great addition to a bag lunch.
Make fruit, vegetable or even cheese kabobs.
To make sure your child gets enough calcium, pack cheese cubes,
string cheese, cottage cheese or pudding.
Encourage milk or water to drink.
Try hummus or other bean dips with crackers or baked pita chips for
a fun and easy-to-eat meal.
Add a sweet treat for dessert: two or three cookies, pudding, graham
crackers and a small muffin are all smart choices.
Instead of a plain brown bag ...

Pack your child's lunch in an insulated container that holds a
reusable cold pack, or use a frozen juice box to keep the rest of
the meal cold. A wide-mouth thermal container works great for soups
or chili. Use microwavable containers to store food safely. Add a
sticker, personal note, special napkin or other item that shows
you're thinking of your child.

Add fruit dips such as:


Margarita Fruit Dip
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup frozen margarita drink mix, thawed
2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. grated lime or lemon peel, if desired
1/4 cup whipping cream, whipped


In a medium bowl, beat together softened cream cheese, margarita
mix, orange juice and lime peel until smooth. Fold whipped cream
into mixture until well blended. Cover and chill 1 hour to blend
flavors. Serve dip with strawberries, cherries, peach slices and
other fresh fruit. 12 servings

Calories: 85
Fat: 7 grams
Sodium: 50 mg