Brown bagging it the SMArt way

| Posted On Mar 27, 2012 | By:

Dr. Brittanny Boulanger

The recent heat wave (perfect weather for playing outside!) didn’t deter our SMArt kids from being “smart” and participating in this month’s SMArt kids SMA.  We focused on healthy lunches, and the overriding theme of the SMA was “brown bag it!”

Although local schools are starting to heed the calls for healthier school lunches, nutritious school meals are not always easy to find.  Our SMArt kids know this from visiting their own school lunch line. As a group, we reviewed lunch menus from surrounding towns.  We were floored at the menu items listed on local school lunch calendars. Although some healthy alternatives are offered, many menus seem to be overrun with chicken patties, flavored milk, peanut butter & fluff and tater tots. It takes ”smarts” and willpower to make the best choice, not to mention resisting the peer pressure from friends in line. One solution: bring lunch from home.

Making lunch at home enables parents and children to manage what is available at lunchtime. It allows families to control portion sizes, encourage variety and work toward healthy goals such as five fruits and veggies per day. Let’s admit it, though: preparing lunches can seem like a lot of work. It can feel tedious and at times overwhelming. Many parents open the fridge on a Monday morning and realize the brown bag options are sparse. 

Here are some tips that may help with the brown bag blues.

 Of course, not everyone can pack a daily lunch. When faced with the lunch line, remember some basic tips:

Whether from home or the lunch line,  the SMArt kids team recommends water or low fat white milk at lunch. Saying “no thank you” to flavored milk, juice, soda and sports drinks is the healthiest option.

Eating a wholesome lunch will keep SMArt Kids and school children in general energized at school and working toward the overall goal of general good health and nutrition.

Until next month…keep working on our SMArt Kids goals.

Keep up the “SMArt” work, SMArt Kids!  Your ongoing dedication and hard work is paying off. 

Looking forward to April!

Brittanny Boulanger, MD


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About Dr. Brittanny Boulanger

Joined Harvard Vanguard: 2005 Undergraduate School: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH Medical School: University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA Internship: Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester, NY Residency: Golisano Children's Hospital, Rochester, NY Board Certification: Pediatrics Hospital Affiliations: Children's Hospital, Boston, MA; Winchester Hospital, Winchester, MA Clinical Interests: Newborn medicine and adolescent medicine Personal Interests: Running, soccer, hiking, skiing, travel and spending time with her two young children.

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