Back to School Healthy Lunches: What Parents Need to Know

Kids are heading back to school in cities across the U.S., and the health of their lunches is one of the top three parental concerns of this back-to-school season, according a recent survey commissioned by Herbalife Nutrition.

The back-to-school survey covered several parental worries for their school-aged kids, including their safety, if they’ll make new friends, quality of education and homework load. However, 44% of the survey respondents prioritized healthy school lunches after the quality of their children’s teachers, and ahead of the cost of school supplies.

The survey also found that the average child buys lunch about three times a week, and while healthy eating is a top concern for parents, 36% admitted they don’t typically know what their child eats when they buy their meals from school.

It’s no surprise that most parents say their child eats healthiest when at home, or when they pack their kids’ lunches themselves. Unfortunately, the survey also found that 45% of parents admit that they don’t always have time or have forgotten to prepare a sack lunch for their kids to take to school.

“Parents have enough to worry about and what their kids are eating in school should be the last thing they have to think about. Yet unfortunately parents have deep fears about what their kids are eating in lunchrooms across the country,” says Dr. John Agwunobi, pediatrician, co-president and Chief Health and Nutrition Officer at Herbalife Nutrition.

When parents do pack a lunch, the survey reported tasty food as their top priority (64%), followed by foods parents know their child will eat (64%) followed by healthy options (62%). Some ideas for nutrient-packed, healthy foods that most kids will enjoy include omega-3 rich tuna fish, sweet and crunchy carrots, strawberries packed with potassium and vitamin C, and nuts, which can replace chips to satisfy cravings for salty, crunchy items.

To learn about healthy and tasty options to pack for your kids’ lunches, visit www.iamherbalifenutrition.com.