Eating lunch is extremely important for an active teenager. The time between breakfast and dinner can be much too long to wait for food. A teen that misses lunch tends to over-snack on sugary foods after school and isn't at his/her best during his/her afternoon classes.
- While you will want to pack a healthy lunch, don't overdo it. Teens don't mind eating some healthy things as long as they are tasty too.
- Always look for ideas and surprises within the realm of things that your child likes. Things like fruit kabobs or cheese and crackers are fun to eat and can be made with different fruits and cheeses.
- Be sure to have the containers you will need to pack a teen lunch. Soup or a hot food thermos and an insulated bag are a better choice for teens than the traditional 'brown bag'.
- Talk to your teen and involve your him/her in the process of choosing his/her lunch. Teens who help make the choices are more likely to eat the lunches.
- 'Make your own' is always in style with teens. Try giving them all of the ingredients for a wrap in separate baggies and let them put it together.
- For the teens that like to pick, make your own trail mixes with all kinds of good and healthy foods - add just a little chocolate to make it cool too.
- Left-overs are great for teen lunches. Does your teen have a favorite homemade food? Are you having it for dinner this week? If so, make extra! Warm it in the morning and put it in a hot food thermos. Pack a fork and they are all set.
- Stick a note in their lunch every once in a while with encouragement, or just to let them know you are thinking of them.
- Be sure to keep in mind that your teen's lunch will be in his/her locker all morning. Do not use foods that spoil easily.
- While your teen may like something this week, he/she may not next week. Keep this in mind and have alternative ideas ready.
- Quick Links: Quiz: Are you raising a healthy eater? | Quiz: Are you raising a healthy teen? | Teen Wellness
Parenting Quizzes for Parents of Teens