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Healthy Back to School Tips, Building a Better Lunchbox

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– It’s almost that time of year! Parents, teachers, and kids are getting ready to head back to school. Beyo...

SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP, DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.-- It's almost that time of year! Parents, teachers, and kids are getting ready to head back to school.

Beyond all the school supplies you have to make sure you are eating healthy, and that starts with the most important meal of the day-- breakfast.

Lets face it the cereal isle at grocery stores can be overwhelming with all of the options. GIANT Food Stores has a program to help shoppers distinguish which items are more nutritious. The three star ranking system displays stars on the price tag identifying which options are "good," "better," and "best" choices.

Nutritionist, Shanna Shultz says you can add fruit to your bowl of cereal or even a side of Greek Yogurt too. Portion control is one way to stay on the path of better eating habits and Shultz says, sticking to the recommended serving size helps you maintain your sugar and carbohydrate intake.

Before kids head out the door for school they need their lunch! Shultz also had some helpful tips to share on building a healthier lunch box:

  • Add colorful fruits and veggies
  • Don't forget protein to stay full
  • Find whole grains with fiber
  • Don't be afraid to try new things

Using those tips, she shared some new and easy lunchbox recipes that took her under ten minutes to prepare.

The walking taco:

  • Multi-grain tortilla chips
  • Black bean salsa (found at the GIANT salad bar)
  • Diced chicken (you can easily use chicken from last nights dinner)
  • 2% milk cheese

Gourmet 'PB&J':

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Dark chocolate hummus spread (a lot of schools now have peanut restrictions so this is a great substitute)
  • Fresh strawberries

Shultz says don't be afraid to get your kids to try new things, especially when the recipes put a fun twist on back to school lunches.

"Get your kids involved so if they are a little nervous about trying something new they can be the one picking something new in the store," said Shultz.

For the parents who are worried about time, and making sure your kids are eating food that they enjoy but is also healthy-- she says don't stress.

"Super quick, super easy, honestly a couple minutes for both so not a lot of time," said Shultz.

As far as snacks go she says carrots, cheese, and apple slices are quick and simple.