Use MyPlate to pack a healthy school lunch


Tammy Roberts, MS, RD, LD, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Bates County, University of Missouri Extension

The school year is in full swing and this is a busy season for many. If you send lunch with your child, use MyPlate as a guide to effortlessly pack a healthy lunch.

MyPlate was released by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a way to help Americans quickly plan a healthy meal. The icon shows a plate that is half full of fruits and vegetables, and the other half with protein foods and grains. The grain icon is a little larger than the protein icon and the vegetable is larger than fruit, meaning you need a little more grains and vegetables. There is a dairy icon next to the plate.

When you are planning school lunches, imagine how the foods you choose will fit on the plate. Think about choosing foods that will pack safely and that your child will enjoy…

For examples from each of the food groups and lunch combos that will appeal to children, see the full version of this article at


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