While breakfast is often tapped as the most important meal of the day, lunch is arguably just as critical for all-day performance, says Sue Moores, a registered dietitian in St. Paul, Minn.
According to Moores, the best school lunch contains foods rich in protein and wholesome carbohydrates, plus foods filled with vitamins minerals and fiber. This mix of foods provides energy for the brain and muscles that can last for several hours.
Here are some healthy options from the lunch line:
* Salad bar that includes romaine lettuce, shredded or diced vegetables, cottage cheese or hard-boiled eggs, a drizzle of dressing, plus whole-grain breadsticks, fruit and a low-fat milk.
* Roast beef or ham sandwich on whole-wheat bread, accompanied by an orange, carrot sticks with dip and a low-fat milk.
* Quesadillas or a flatbread sandwich with a mixed lettuce salad, melon and a low-fat milk.
* Turkey/veggie wrap with pineapple and mandarin oranges, pretzel sticks and a low-fat chocolate milk.
* Baked potato with broccoli and low-fat cheese sauce, orange wedges, whole-wheat roll and a low-fat milk.