Make a deal that they will buy school lunch 2 days/ week, and for the other 3 days they will take their lunch. Check on the school lunch calendar and pick the day's each week that they will buy, and then start planning on what to pack for lunch.
Packing a child's lunch doesn't really take much time and it may often be a healthier lunch than what they are typically buying at school. It may also be less expensive. It is fun to have your child involved as well, and you can take a trip to the grocery store to pick out lunch items. It is easy to help guide their choices a bit while you shop and maybe try some new things as well?
When packing a school lunch you want it to be balanced. Using whole grain breads is a great way to add some fiber. You can also try using whole wheat tortillas or pita for a change of pace.
Choose lean meats such as turkey, or ham, and add some cheese to provide some calcium as well. Change it up and make an almond or cashew butter sandwich rather than peanut butter.
What about chips? Instead of buying pre-packaged chips why not use your own snack bags which may be a more appropriate portion as well as less expensive. You can add some cut up vegetables and a side of ranch if they like to dip. I also like to include some fresh fruit and each child seems to have their favorites like apples, grapes, bananas or pears?
Lastly, cookies are not forbidden, but put those in a snack bag as well so that your child gets 2 cookies rather than the 4 - 6 that come prepackaged. Top it off with milk and you have a great lunch!
I'm Dr. Sue with The Kid's Doctor helping parents take charge.