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A healthy meal has at least 3 of the 5 food groups. It will include a whole grain, lean protein or dairy, and fruit or vegetable. The list below includes options that will serve up a well-balanced and filling meal.

  • Italian tortellini: Cooked tortellini, mozzarella cheese, cucumber, spinach leaves and cherry tomatoes. Serve with a pesto dipping sauce.

  • Wrap it up: Turkey and cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. Serve with carrots.

  • Hawaiian pita: Lean ham with green pepper and pineapple chunks served in a pita.

  • Chef salad: Lean ham and turkey with cheese, lettuce, cucumber, tomato and olives. Serve with whole wheat crackers.

  • Breakfast for lunch: Hardboiled egg with Canadian bacon and whole grain bagel. Serve with applesauce.

  • Taco fresco: Chopped chicken breast with peppers, avocado and tomato. Serve with whole grain tortilla chips.

  • Tea time: Light cheese spread with sliced cucumber and dill on whole grain bread.

  • Vegetarian: Hummus with cucumber, grated carrot and lettuce in a pita.

  • PB&B: Peanut butter with sliced banana on whole grain bread.

  • Pizza: Light mozzarella cheese with tomato sauce and baby spinach in a whole grain wrap.

  • Deli meat roll up: Lean roast beef, ham, or turkey wrapped around spinach and cheese. Serve with grapes.

  • Rainbow veggie spring rolls: Avocado, sliced red pepper, sprouts, shredded carrot, and edamame rolled in rice paper. Serve with a peanut dipping sauce.

  • From the sea: Tuna salad made with low fat mayo, slice grapes, and celery. Serve with whole grain crackers.

  • Dairy day: Low fat cottage cheese with whole grain crackers and sliced peaches.

  • Bean burrito: Spread mashed black beans on a whole grain tortilla. Top with guacamole, salsa, and low-fat cheese.

Many kids also like to include extra food in their lunch boxes to have at snack time and/or to enjoy on the side. Try some of these ideas.

  • Sliced apples or pears sprinkled with cinnamon

  • Boiled edamame

  • Greek yogurt

  • Fig newtons

  • Sliced mango

  • Jicama sticks

  • Broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots with low fat ranch

  • Baby rainbow peppers with hummus

  • Nut butter pouch

  • Fruit and veggie sauce pouch

Who to Call

If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions, please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at

Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) can be reached: (608) 890-5500.

Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.