Parenting Pathway #140: What’s In Your Lunch?

One day each week I join my six-year-old daughter for lunch at her school. Lunchtime is a very exciting time. Unzipping the lunch box that Mom or Dad packed can bring excitement for some, disappointment for others.

As a parent coach, it is always interesting for me to see what’s inside the children’s packed lunch boxes. Bologna and cheese sandwiches on white bread, pudding, yogurt, PB&J, chips, cookies, apples, carrots, bananas, and cheese crackers seem to be in abundance for “packers”.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Guide Pyramid (which is currently being revised) suggests the following for the average 6 year old:

  • 6 servings a day of grain products (whole wheat breads, pasta, rice, etc.)

  • 2 servings of fruit (prunes, blueberries, strawberries, oranges, etc.)

  • 3 servings of vegetables (spinach, broccoli, beans, carrots, etc.)

  • 2 servings of meat or protein (turkey, chicken, soy, beef, nuts, etc.)

  • 2 servings of milk (2% low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, etc.)

  • The sparing use of fats, oils, and sweets.

Given these daily recommendations, your average packed lunch should contain: 2 servings of grain products, 1 serving of fruit, 1 serving of vegetable, 1 serving of meat/protein, and 1 serving of milk.

Teaching a healthy and nutritious lifestyle begins at home, and can be packed for lunch. Encourage your child to:

  1. Eat a variety of foods according to the food guide pyramid including plenty of whole grain products, vegetables, and fruits.

  2. Choose foods that are low in fat, saturated fat, hydrogenated oil, cholesterol, sugar, and salt.

  3. Maintain a way of eating that provides enough calcium and iron to meet growing body requirements.

  4. Integrate physical activity into everyday life.

Coaching Inquiries: What does your child pack for lunch? What do you eat for lunch? How can you teach your child more about healthy food choices?

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Parenting Coaching Programs and to arrange for a complementary Parenting coaching session, Click Here or Email Christina.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Christina Lombardo, PCC, CPCC (
LifeTrek Coaching International
Columbus, OH

Telephone: 614-332-9747
Fax: 415-634-2301

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