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Video: Top back-to-school foods

TODAY contributor
updated 7/13/2009 1:32:42 PM ET 2009-07-13T17:32:42

It’s back-to-school time again, and many families are preparing their children with supplies and new school clothes, while trying to figure out just what to pack in those school lunchboxes! Parents across the country are wondering what foods their kids will eat, which ones offer the best nutrition, and which ones are affordable now that food prices are at the highest levels in the past 30 years!

One of the most important lessons to share with our kids is about healthy eating. After all, it is no mystery that obesity levels in school-age children are the highest ever, and that healthy eating habits have been proven to contribute to higher rates of success in school-age kids.

The combination of higher food prices, the obesity epidemic and our desire for on-the-go foods has influenced the food industry to make new foods that satisfy these needs. Here are my picks for the 2008 school year:

Here are some suggestions for those afternoon meals when the kids get home:

Here are some snacks your kids are sure to love:

There are two questions you should ask yourself that may help you decide what to serve your children:

Some schools teach nutrition education; however, it is the parents’ role to lead their children in the right direction with healthy eating decisions. Here are some suggestions:

One of the most effective ways to encourage nutritious eating in children is for the whole family to make adjustments in their eating habits. Back-to-school time is a great opportunity for your entire family’s healthy food makeover.

For more new back-to-school foods, check out www.ratefoods.com.

Phil Lempert is food editor of the TODAY show. He welcomes questions and comments, which can be sent to phil@supermarketguru.com. For more about the latest trends on the supermarket shelves, visit Phil’s Web site at SuperMarketGuru.com.

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