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How to Build a Balanced Lunch Box

A lunchbox loaded with all the colors of the rainbow is more than just an eye-catching way to entice young eaters. Including a vibrant variety of veggies and fruit helps to ensure a wide range of nutrients for a well-balanced meal. It’s also a great way to make lunchtime more fun!
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Start by getting kids hands-on in the kitchen to pick out their favorite colors and healthy ingredients. Once you’ve chosen the menu, showcase colorful foods by grouping them separately inside the lunchbox (divided lunch tins and bento boxes work well or DIY with paper cupcake liners). Keep foods finger-friendly by including bite-sized pieces and items that don’t require utensils to eat. Remember to keep portion sizes small so little lunchers will be encouraged to eat everything you’ve packed. 

Think inside the (lunch)box with these mouthwatering midday menus and get inspired to customize your own colorful combinations. 

Red: Red bell pepper strips 
Pink: Deli-sliced ham 
Orange: Cheddar cheese cubes 
Yellow: Pineapple chunks 
Green: Celery sticks 
Blue/Purple: Blackberries 
Brown: Granola bites 
White: Rice crackers 

Here’s one lunchbox combination that combines fruit, crackers, dairy, and deli meats.

Red: Dried cranberries 
Pink: Watermelon cubes 
Orange: Carrot sticks 
Yellow: Hummus snack cup 
Green: Blanched sugar snap peas 
Blue/Purple: Blue corn tortilla chips 
Brown: Baked wheat snack crackers 
White: Hardboiled egg 

The hardboiled egg gives a nice filling touch to this lunch box combination.

Red: Grape tomatoes 
Pink: Salami 
Orange: Mandarin oranges 
Yellow: Golden raisins 
Green: Broccoli florets 
Blue/Purple: Sliced plums 
Brown: Whole wheat pretzels 
White: String cheese

This is a great combination of sweet and savory!

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