There are lots of national days to celebrate, and today we are highlighting National Make Lunch Count Day on April 13th. This day is for the purpose of enjoying a real lunch with friends instead of eating at your desk like so many Americans do. That’s how you can celebrate it, but since your Orlando private school student already will have lunch with friends, you can assist by packing a fantastic lunch for them to recognize the day and take part in the celebration. Here are some options for what you can pack sorted by food groups.

Grains & Protein

A quarter of your plate should be a grain. They provide B vitamins, folate, magnesium, selenium, and iron as well as a bulk of your daily fiber. Just make sure to opt for whole grains whenever you can since they have more nutrients. You can combine this category with protein to create a healthy main course for your child’s lunch.

Proteins provide the necessary nutrients every growing (or grown) body needs, but purchase food with caution since protein-rich foods can also be fatty or high in sodium. To keep the benefits with none of the unhealthiness, make sure you buy lean meats and don’t forget that protein comes from nuts and seeds

Healthy Grain and Protein Options: PB&J on a wheat bagel, two whole grain pita pockets with veggies and grilled chicken strips, tuna sandwich with whole wheat bread in the shape of a fish

Dairy

As long as you make good choices for your diary, it’s worth including dairy in your lunch for its levels of calcium and vitamin D. Avoid fatty dairy options, and remember that most of the nutrients found in dairy can also be found in other foods. Although, healthy yogurts and low-fat milk are great inclusions in your kid’s lunch box.

Healthy Dairy Options: Strawberries with yogurt, cheese cubes, string cheese and crackers, low-fat milk, low-fat chocolate pudding

Vegetable

Vegetables should make up a quarter of your child’s lunch. Vegetables contain minerals and vitamins that a growing child needs. They are also low calorie, yet filling due to the amounts of fiber they contain. Vegetables keep you healthy, and it’s important to develop these healthy habits early because a diet consisting of vegetables can help reduce the risk for disease and keep your heart healthy.

Healthy Veggie Options: Edamame, celery, carrots, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas

Fruit

Making up a quarter of your plate, fruits contain more vitamins and minerals needed for a healthy body. They contain healthy doses of fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium. They, like vegetables, are low in calories and fat, so they can be eaten in more abundance, providing more health benefits per calorie than other foods.

Healthy Fruit Options: Melon, grapes, pears, plums, kiwi, apples, blueberries

Include a food option from each food group to create tasty lunches for your kids so they can shine on National Make Lunch Count Day and beyond. Also, feel free to take the opportunity to teach them about healthy lunches, and even show them how to pack their own lunches in the future. Get yourself and your Orlando private school student ready for April 13th, and enjoy your healthy and delicious lunch!