When it comes to packing my daughter’s lunch I find it super helpful to use a basic ratio. This way I can ensure I’m giving her a good balance of the nutrients she needs to develop, thrive, and grow. Here’s the ratio:

  • ½ of the meal as vegetables and fruits
  • ¼ of the meal grains or starches (preferably fiber-rich sources for the health benefits and staying power)
  • ¼ of the meal protein
  • A side of healthy fats

There’s no need to be rigid with this ratio and of course, some foods cross over into more than one area so just roll with it and keep it fun ☺

I also like to use the 3 color rule (at least 3 different and bright colors) which helps with the visual appeal. We eat with their eyes before the food even hits our mouth ☺

Here are some examples to help you put the above into practice (note: I also add a small thermos of milk on the side to these lunches):

Option 1

  • Vegetables and fruits: Kale chips, carrots, blueberries
  • Grain or starches: Popcorn
  • Protein: Hardboiled egg
  • Healthy fat: Almonds

Option 2

  • Vegetables and fruits: Spiralized beets, sliced cucumbers, mango
  • Grain or starches with Protein: Tuna sandwich on whole grain bread
  • Healthy fat: Olives


Option 3

  • Vegetables and fruits: Sliced yellow peppers, Dried cherries, apple chips
  • Grain or starches: Crackers and hummus
  • Protein: Yogurt
  • Healthy fat: Pistachios 


Your super fruit sidekick,

Tara, MS, RDN