Having proper nutrition is the one of the best ways to make sure your child is prepared to excel in school. Pack your kids a healthy lunch by including a range of fresh foods, and get creative to make sure they don't get bored. The first step in packing a healthy lunch is planning ahead for the entire week. "You want to buy nice fresh ingredients and provide yourself with several different options, and then maybe stage out what menus, what things you want to do throughout the week." Executive Chef at LMC, Greg Hughes, says experiment with foods and find out what your child likes and doesn't like. And take the time to introduce new foods a little at a time. "Sitting with your child, finding out what they like and incorporating that into a healthy option that they can take with them that you know they're going to eat, versus the unhealthy options out of the vending machine or something else." Some tips for a healthy lunch include: Adding fruits and vegetables, offering a variety of whole grains, including lean proteins, and reduced fat dairy foods like cheese and yogurt. Getting your kids involved in the preparation means they're more likely to be excited about eating the food. “You can make these at home, you can buy these if you just buy dried fruits, nuts, different things. Have the child get a big bowl and help make his lunch." He adds, that the more creative you get the more likely it is your kids will look forward to opening that lunch box. "We've got a peanut butter, banana, strawberry wrap with a little bit of jam, and again you could put anything in there, Nutella would be good, or almond butter, there's many different options." Eating health doesn't have to be expensive. Shop at the farmers market for fresh produce; buy locally, and in season. And while every parent wants his or her child to eat healthy, it's important to lead by example. "It's do what I say, but it's better if you set a good example I guess right, and if you can do it as a family I think it's a little more cohesive and it's probably going to happen more, the kids are going to be more likely to try it if mom and dad try it." Chef Greg also says picking brightly colored lunch boxes and using cookie cutters to cut foods into fun shapes goes a long way in getting kids interested in what they're eating.