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Turn good lunchboxes into great lunchboxes

Family Features | 9/23/2013, 12:11 p.m.

While moms want to make sure their kids eat a healthier lunch at school, it’s not always easy packing lunches that are good for them.

Food and lifestyle expert Evette Rios has five easy tips to help families pack a healthier lunch, and turn a good lunchbox into a great lunchbox:

Subtract the fat. Remove unnecessary fat with fat-free deli meats – your kids won’t know the difference.

Avoid temptation with snacks. Children who eat a poor-quality breakfast or lunch may give in to temptation, so offer healthier snacks like nuts and dried fruit, or sneak 20 percent of your kid’s daily fiber into the lunchbox by packing a Nature Valley granola bar or Fiber One bar.

It’s not juice if it’s not 100 percent. If you are going to serve juice, make sure it is 100 percent fruit juice.

Don’t be afraid to give them a sweet treat. Instead of a candy bar or cookies, try packing Go-GURT® Portable Lowfat Yogurt. With a fun tube and smooth, creamy texture, these treats are specially made to freeze and thaw by lunchtime.

If kids help select it or cook it, they’ll eat it. Give them a choice and involve them, but guide their choices. Let them cruise the produce aisle and pick out the fruit they want to eat. Show your children how to cut veggies into bite-sized pieces that they can dip into a favorite sauce. Also, have them make trail mix with low-salt nuts and dried fruits, and portion it into single serving bags.

When shopping for healthier ingredients to feed your family, Rios recommends looking for the Great for You seal on Walmart produce available in stores now and on select Great Value and Marketside products beginning this fall. “As part of their healthier food initiative, Walmart is making it easier than ever to make healthier food choices. This seal lets you instantly identify food options that are both great for you and affordable,” said Rios.

Get more ideas for great school lunches at http://www.walmart.com. You can also download the free Walmart mobile app that lets you create grocery lists and get coupons at http://www.walmart.com/mobile.