By Marge Perry
Updated August 31, 2011
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
Advertisement
According to the American Dietetic Association’s Guide to Healthy Eating for Kids, a “Five-Star Lunch” should:1. Provide one selection from each of the five food groups.2. Contain no more than one item from the nutritionally lacking category.3. Include high-fiber foods.4. Have a reduced fat content.5. Be a meal your child will eat and actually enjoy!From healthy snack mixes to wacky lollipops, check out our editors’ favorite finds to ensure your kids will love what’s in their lunchboxes.
| Credit: Lee Harrelson; Styling: Jan Gautro

An ice pack in a school lunch alone is not enough to keep foods at a safe temperature, according to a recent study by University of Texas researchers. Your best bet is to pack shelf-stable foods like fruits and vegetables, peanut butter sandwiches, individually packaged puddings/applesauce/canned fruit, individually canned tuna and chicken (or other canned meats), and milk in aseptic boxes.

But for the sake of nutrition and diversity, you'll probably also want to pack perishable items. When you do, use a soft insulated tote with at least one frozen gel pack.