J. Allen Axson Montessori promotes healthy eating habits, which we view as critical to a child’s physical and mental development. We encourage you to pack only wholesome foods for snack or lunch. We will not serve your child candy, cookies, cake, sodas or other sugary snacks.
A child’s disposition can be affected positively and negatively by what we feed them and affect their ability to focus and learn. As parents and educators, we promise to encourage our children that wholesome food is both delicious and good for them. There’s a reason that the adage, “we are what we eat,” has lasted as long as it has!Please help us keep J. Allen Axson a healthy environment for our children by providing your child with healthy lunches and snacks. We have provided a list of suggestions that we hope are helpful. (See below for more suggestions and resources.)Breakfast at J. Allen Axson is free for all students. The cafeteria opens for breakfast at 8am. Lunch is $1.95 for a standard lunch with a milk. Here is the link for the menus.For a free and reduced lunch application, please visit the District's Food Service Site http://www.duvalschools.org/Domain/4422Healthy Lunch Suggestions and Web Resources for Healthy Lunchbox Fare
Ideas for protein items:
- Hard-boiled egg
- Omelet strips (with veggies and cheese)
- Sandwiches on whole-wheat bread (cut into fun shapes or leave as halves or cut the crust off). Make sandwiches ahead of time and freeze them. Put them in frozen and they will defrost (and taste really fresh!) by lunchtime. Note: some things don’t freeze well like lettuce, tomatoes, mayo and eggs but other things do, like peanut butter, meat, some cheeses.
- Celery with peanut butter or nutella (chocolate/hazelnut spread)
- Rolled up meat slices/meat and cheese slices, with or without mustard/ketchup in the middle
- Cubes of meat on toothpicks with veggies and chunks of cheese (or the fun shaped slices)
- Apples and cheese (Publix sells pre-sliced apples dipped in ascorbic acid so they don’t brown)
- Apples and peanut butter
- Tuna salad pita pockets (apples chunks, tuna and mayo are great together in tiny pita pockets)
- Hummus and pita, bread or crackers
- Chicken salad
- Cold chicken legs or drumettes
- Mini-bagels and cream cheese
- Cobb salad (with cubes of meat and cheese)
- Salad with sliced hard-boiled egg and grated cheese
- Cottage cheese (with fruit in the other small compartment)
- Peanut butter and crackers (wrap the crackers in plastic wrap to keep them crisp)
- “Nachos:” healthy chips (baked chips, Doritos naturals or a health food brand), shredded cheese and salsa (I pack the salsa in a sealed container, like a babyfood jar).
- Pasta with cheese. Try spaghetti (a mix of whole-wheat and regular) with a little olive oil and grated parmesan cheese
- Mixed nuts and dried fruits
- Tacos: meat and bean mixture in one compartment, with cheese and shredded carrot, chopped tomato, etc in a second. Wrap the shell separately to keep it crisp and put it in the larger compartment.
- Pita pizzas: Get the tiny pitas and split them in half. Put a tiny container (or ziplock snack bag) with sauce, along with cheese and toppings. Your child assembles them at school, so they aren’t soggy.
- Think out of the box: some healthy waffles (Lifestream brand are good, with flax and fiber) are as healthy as whole-wheat bread. You can send them in with a little maple syrup or spread them with peanut butter, cream cheese/walnuts/honey spread, or jam (Pollander is all fruit with no added sugar).
Ideas for veggies:
- Baby carrots
- Salad with dressing (Keep it separate in a tiny bottle: trial-sized ketchup bottles, a tiny spice jars, a tiny sprinkles jar)
- Grape tomatoes
- Small broccoli florets and ranch dressing (in tiny bottle)
- Cucumber slices
- Pickle spears
- Cauliflower and cheese
- Colorful pepper strips
- Celery (Publix sells some already washed and trimmed)
- Green beans
- Asparagus with oil and vinegar (in a separate container)
- Small section of corn on the cob
- Baby corn
- Peas, corn and carrots mix
Ideas for fruits:
- Apple slices (Publix sells pre-sliced apples dipped in ascorbic acid so they don’t brown)
- Sliced strawberries
- Kiwi (cut in half and give them a metal spoon to use to scoop it out, or else peel and slice)
- Star fruit (“carambola” cut crosswise so the pieces are star-shaped)
- Dried apricots
- Mandarin oranges
- Mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
- Fruit salad (Try pineapple with strawberries and kiwis, or melon/cantaloupe/watermelon)
Ideas for starches/carbohydrates:
- Pasta salad (rotini or bowtie pasta (Use a mix of regular and whole-wheat) with frozen peas/carrots/broccoli and Italian dressing)
- Whole wheat roll with a little butter or olive oil for dipping
- Couscous with veggies
- Rice cooked with chicken broth and veggies on top
- Dry cereal (Choose ones that are high in fiber and low in sugar: Cheerios, Mini Wheats, Optimum (with dried blueberries!), some natural cereals)
- Crackers (Choose ones that are healthier – whole wheat, no trans fats and some fiber/protein)
- Pasta with tomato sauce, or vegetable sauce
- Black beans and rice
- Rice cakes
- Muffins (Make them on weekends and then freeze them. Add a frozen muffin which defrosts in the lunch box and tastes really fresh.)
Web Resources with Ideas for Healthy Lunchbox Fare
Healthy Lunchbox Suggestions – About.com
This is from about.com, so it is meant as a clearinghouse site, and includes links to other sites.
Kid’s Health – A Healthy Lunchbox
This site is from the Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service site (funded by the Department of Health in South Australia), meant for kids who make their own lunches, how Montessori!
Healthy Lunchbox Ideas
This site includes a printable list of healthy foods that kids can fill out to help guide them towards healthy choices they will like.
Snack Attack and Lunchbox Ideas
Another Australian site, this time a Children’s Hospital. Includes a list of ideas for healthy lunchbox fare.
Nutrition – Quick and Healthy Lunch Ideas
Another site aimed at kids, but this one is more commercial, with pop up ads.
Healthy Lunch Boxes
Healthy lunch box ideas from the BBC in England. Includes FOUR WEEKS of suggestions! Some of the language is British English and some of the items are unfamiliar (flapjacks and currant buns), but how fun to pack a “British lunch box!”
School Lunch Box Ideas (PDF)
Another Australian site, prints out like a little poster.
Lunch Box Ideas
If you are interested in organic foods, here is a site dedicated to organic lunch food, including some organic convenience foods.