Health Check: When Home-Baked Is Half-Baked

The pressure is on at lunch time - not only to have a cool lunch box and get a good seat in the cafeteria, but to have trade-worthy snacks, as well. All this pressure has added up to a serious decline in the quality of that once-wholesome meal: the brown bag lunch.

An Eastern Michigan University study directed by Alice Jo Rainville, Ph.D., found that brown bag lunches actually pale in comparison to school lunches. The study found that lunches brought from home contain 21 percent more calories from fat, seven times fewer vegetables, and half as much fruit as lunches bought at school. The lunch-box crowd also ate three times as many snack foods (chips, cookies and packaged snacks) as school lunch participants.


To make sure your children's lunch boxes are measuring up, check out "Healthy Lunch-Box Ideas."