Home packed lunches may not be the healthiest option for your child

School lunchroom health

A new study shows that kids who bring a home packed lunch to school are not necessarily getting a healthy meal.

About four out of ten children bring their lunches to school rather than buying meals from the cafeteria.

Tufts University found less than one-third of packed lunches meet government standards for school cafeteria meals.

Only a quarter of the lunches included a primary entrée like a sandwich, and most of these lacked protein, like yogurt, cheese or peanut butter.

One in four children brought sugar sweetened beverages, but only a third brought fruit.

Experts say parents tend to pack a lot of pre-packaged foods because they are convenient and do not need refrigeration.

Replacing cookies with a favorite fruit and switching to whole grain bread are good ways to ensure children are getting a healthy lunch.