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Kids' Lunch Boxes Often Fall Short on Nutrition
Date:8/1/2014

commend a balance of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy as the building blocks of healthy meals," Hubbard said. "Making small changes over time, such as switching to whole grain bread, adding lettuce to a sandwich or replacing cookies with a favorite fruit, can go a long way toward better nutrition."

Sandon added that easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables, such as apples, grapes, bananas and carrot sticks, hold up well, as do no-sugar-added prepackaged fruit cups and low-fat string cheese.

The study was limited because the data came from mostly white, higher-income participants. Further, the researchers do not know who -- parents, students or someone else -- packed the lunches or what the children actually ate at lunch.

The research, funded by the Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center and the National Institutes of Health, was published online recently in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

More information

Find out the details of the National School Lunch Program standards at the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

SOURCES: Lona Sandon, R.D., assistant professor of clinical nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas; Kristie Hubbard, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., research associate, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, Mass.; July 17, 2014, Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics online


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