As summer comes to an end, parents across the country parents start planning for the new school year, including what to prepare for lunches. Kids and teens food preferences and calorie needs change regularly, so last year's lunch might not fit the bill this year. Buying can be an option if your child likes a hot lunch. School systems post menu items online with carb counts so you can plan ahead. The UUSDA school lunch patterns require a fruit and veggie serving-something missing from many packed lunches. If you decide to pack a lunch, aim for variety and balance-a fruit, veggie, lean protein, and whole grain. That could look like a half or whole sandwich on high fiber bread, a Thermos with a cup of vegetable soup, a small apple, and milk or yogurt. Try not to get stuck in a rut with the same lunch every day and encourage the entire family to make healthy lunch choices.