Kids’ Packed Lunches Lack Good Nutrition
School lunches have become more healthful in recent years, but packed lunches are still missing the mark. In a study of more than 300 elementary school children who brought their lunch to school from home, researchers found that only 27 percent of the meals met at least three of five National School Lunch Program standards, which aim for 1/2 cup of fruit, 3/4 cup of vegetables, 1 ounce of grains (such as bread or pasta), 1 ounce of meat or meat substitute, and 1 cup of milk. Of concern, nearly a quarter of the lunches did not contain an entrée that included protein, and the same amount contained sugar-sweetened beverages.
Source: Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, published online July 22, 2014