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Welcome to Austin Community College

 

LUNCHBOX GUIDELINES

Click here to download the detailed list of Food Guidelines and Suggestions

Click here to download a Sample Snack Menu

Please follow these guidelines when preparing lunches for your child. (Remember to pack food in a thermos to keep food hot or include an ice pack to keep food cold.)

Required Food Groups/Components:

Protein Meats/Meat Alternatives or Dairy:

  • Lunch Meats (95%fat free)
  • Tuna
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Chicken (chunks or 1 piece)
  • Tofu or other soy products
  • Hummus
  • Beans
  • Nut Butter
  • Cheese (low-fat)

Bread, Crackers, or Cereal:

  • Whole wheat bread
  • Bagels
  • Tortillas or corn chips (unsalted)
  • Rice cakes
  • Pretzels
  • Pita bread
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Couscous or Tabouli
  • Bread sticks

Fruit Vegetable (Raw or Cooked)

  • Apple
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Kiwi
  • Peach, nectarine or apricot
  • Melons
  • Bananas
  • Pineapple
  • Cherries
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Papaya or mango
  • Unsweetened applesauce
  • Dried fruits
  • Canned fruit in juice
  • Carrots (baby or sticks)
  • Celery sticks
  • Sweet red or green peppers
  • Broccoli or cauliflower
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes (cherry or wedged)
  • Squash (zucchini or yellow)
  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • Peas
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Greens
  • Citrus (orange, grapefruit, etc.)
  • Berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • Grapes (sliced length-wise for young children)
  • Tossed salads or greens (dressing on the side if needed)

In order to prepare a healthy lunch, you need to choose at least one food from each of the above categories every day.

Note: Yogurt does not count as a fruit. It may count as a protein if it is plain or not highly sweetened.

 

Required Food Amounts:

 

Component Ages 1 - 2 years 3 - 5 years
Vegetables and/or fruits
(2 or more)
¼ cup total ½ cup total
Protein 1 oz. meat or ¼ cup beans or 2 Tbsp. nut butter or ½ egg or 4 oz yogurt 1 ½ oz. meat or ½ cup beans or 3 Tbsp. nut butter or ¾ egg or 6 oz yogurt
Carbohydrate ½ slice bread or ¼ cup pasta ½ slice bread or ¼ cup pasta

 

Sample Lunch Ideas:

 

  • Pasta and cheese or cheese tortellini with tomato sauce
  • Broccoli (raw or lightly steamed)
  • Applesauce
  • Bean and Cheese Taco
  • Orange quarters
  • Lettuce and tomato salad
  • Tuna or Egg Salad
  • Crackers or pita bread
  • Cucumbers
  • Watermelon cubes
  • Chicken Chunks
  • Rice
  • Carrot slices (raw or lightly steamed)
  • Strawberries

 

Reminder: The following items should not be sent in your child’s lunch:

  • Candy or chewing gum
  • Cookies
  • Pudding
  • High sugar desserts
  • Chips (except tortilla chips)
  • Sodas
  • Kool-aid
  • Any high sugar drink

Limit or avoid sending the following items:

  • "Fast food"
  • "Lunchables"
  • "Gogurt"

For infants and toddlers, please be sure to cut food into bite size portions so they don’t choke (round food items like hot dogs and carrots need to be sliced lengthwise.