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The start of a new school year brings with it a renewed focus on keeping our children healthy and full of energy as they embark on their daily journey of learning and growth.

At MNGI Digestive Health, we understand the importance of a nutritious lunch in maintaining that energy and focus. To help you set the stage for a successful year ahead, we enlisted the expertise of one of our Registered Dietitians to provide valuable insights into crafting a wholesome and nourishing lunch for your young ones.

Annie Hoese, RD, CSP, LD provides nutritional and dietary care at MNGI’s Plymouth, Bloomington, and Northeast Minneapolis locations and was eager to help our busy parents lay the groundwork for a great lunch with these fantastic ideas:


Bento Box

o Create a meal from snacks

o Include a protein – cheese, peanut butter, deli meat, hardboiled egg, nuts, hummus, yogurt

o Include a fruit – grapes, berries, apple slices, mandarin oranges, etc

o Include a veggie – carrot sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes, etc

o Include a grain – whole wheat crackers, mini pitas, mini bagel, pretzel rods, mini pancakes



o Soup – canned or homemade

o Chili

o Mac and cheese

o BBQ meatballs

o Leftover casserole


Get creative with Sandwiches

o Instead of bread, use tortillas for a wrap, crackers for crunch sandwiches, mini hamburger buns/mini bagels for mini sandwiches, hoagies

o Use cookie cutters for interesting shapes



o Fruit snack gummies – send dried fruit instead

o Juice boxes – milk, water are best