September 1st has come and gone, which likely means your kids have been in school at least a week or so … maybe even a month. Between shopping for school supplies and trying to snag as much time as you can with your child before and after school, it’s important to think about what you’re putting into that brown paper bag they take with them every day.

Eating healthy is especially important for young children, but it can be tough to figure out what that looks like when you’re limited to sending food in a bag for five out of the seven days. What does that look like? Start early … start now. Here are a few lunch box tips for teaching your child healthy eating habits that will last them a lifetime.

Include fruits that are fresh or tinned. Cut them up into bite-sized pieces so they’re more appealing to young children.

It can be boring to get the same thing in your lunch every day. Try a variety of breads, such as bread rolls, pita bread, flat bread, bagels, fruit loaf or buns, foccacias, scones, pikelets, muffins, crispbreads,, or corn thins.

Make a fruit smoothie (with fruit your child picked out) and put it in a thermos in your child’s lunch.

If you child likes pizza or quesadillas, add some vegetables to make it more healthy and just as delicious.

Remember, as a parent you have great influence on your child’s eating habits. Make sure you’re following your own advice and staying healthy, too.

Note: Check out these websites for kid-friendly and healthy recipes: Health, Eating Well, and Parents.