|Aside from the obvious nutritional benefit, If you’re looking for another reason to pack your child’s lunch rather than relying on the school’s cafeteria food, how about this: In the course of the school year, doing so could actually save you a little money! If you’re creative using leftovers and/or buy in bulk, you could increase that amount significantly.|
Add in the potential savings in doctors’ visits you may avoid by strengthening your child’s immune system and you may be able to feed two kids healthy lunches for the price of feeding one sub-par meals!
|Chicken Salad made with 3-4 ounces chopped, cooked chicken||.60|
|1 tablespoon Greek yogurt.||.12|
|Fresh veggies (red pepper strips, carrots)||.30|
|poppy and sesame seed crackers.||.20|
Average school lunches cost about $2.50, so that’s a savings of .73, can add up!
More importantly, when you are packing your child’s lunch yourself, you have the flexibility to include the best quality foods, and only those you know your particular child enjoys. The USDA requires school lunches be “well-balanced and nutritious,” but your standards will likely–hopefully!– be different than theirs. Further, many kids taking advantage of the school lunch program are eating the pizza, drinking the chocolate milk, and throwing out the raw broccoli, effectively undermining any supposed balancing of nutrients factored into the menu for the day. You are the best judge of which healthy foods your child will choose to eat when you’re not there to encourage them, so it makes sense to give them those healthy things they like.
We always say, “You can’t put a price on good health!” but happily, in this case, you can end up spending less for better quality!
Chicken salad recipe: 3-4 ounces cooked chicken chopped mixed with 1-2 tablespoons Greek Yogurt and/or homemade (sweetener-free) mayonnaise Optional minced onion, celery, herbs