News & Views

Horizon Partners with Pediatrician
Dr. Alan Greene to Offer Tips
on Packing a Healthy Lunchbox
July 13, 2011

BROOMFIELD, Colo., (September 9, 2010) The end of summer inevitably means back-to-school and with the new school year comes new concerns and stresses. For many moms and dads, packing a healthy lunch is at the top of the worry list. It can be hard to strike a balance that makes both parent and child happy when it comes to lunchtime. But ensuring children actually eat what’s in the lunchbox, instead of trading it, may be easier than many parents think.

That’s what Dr. Alan Greene, practicing pediatrician, father of four and author of From First Kicks to First Steps, Raising Baby Green and Feeding Baby Green, wants to teach parents. Dr. Greene has teamed up with Horizon to give parents the inside scoop on how a pediatrician packs a healthy lunch for his kids — and one that they really eat.

“I know from personal experience how hard it is to put together a delicious, healthy lunch for kids every day,” said Dr. Greene. “I also know that good nutrition is the foundation for a child to have a productive day at school.”

Dr. Greene’s tips include getting the kids involved in making the lunchbox choices. He suggests putting together a laminated “menu” from which your child can mark off their selections the night before with a dry erase marker. Each evening, just wipe yesterday’s choices off, and let them start fresh. Parents can also let their children help select food during the weekly trip to the grocery store.

Some possibilities include:
Main: A sandwich made with 100% whole grain bread or whole grain pasta or rice. Whole grain crackers with Horizon organic cheese break up the sandwich rut and are fun to eat.

Fruit and Vegetables: Anything your child likes, preferably organic. Fruit dipped in organic peanut butter or organic yogurt will boost energy levels and keep kids full longer.

Snack: Nuts, dried fruit, hard-boiled egg, Horizon Tuberz, pretzels, and air-popped popcorn are all great options for snacktime.

Drink: Milk is a smart alternative to juice boxes. Horizon organic single serve milk comes in a variety of flavors and offers kids calcium and protein to power through the day.

Dr. Greene and Horizon on Back to School Nutrition

“It doesn’t have to be a struggle to get your kids to incorporate these items into their own lunchboxes,” said Dr. Greene, reminding us what every parent already knows: kids like to call the shots. “Children are more likely to eat food they have a hand in choosing or preparing. There are plenty of options that are convenient, portable and loaded with the essential vitamins and nutrients to support growth. And all kids have to know is that they taste great.”

Dr. Greene recommends that parents focus on some key nutrients that feed the body and mind.

  • Vitamin D: Often called the “sunshine vitamin” because the body makes it only when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D is important for kids and teens because it builds strong bones by helping the body absorb calcium.
  • Calcium: Children age 4-8 need 1,000 mg, and over 9 need 1300 mg. A glass of milk contains about 300 mg, a serving of yogurt contains about 400 mg and a Horizon cheese stick contains 200 mg. Data shows children who consumed milk or calcium-rich foods at lunchtime tended to get the calcium they need each day.1
  • DHA Omega-3: A fatty acid that plays an important role in supporting brain and eye health. Foods fortified with DHA, like Horizon Milk Plus DHA Omega-3, are an easy way to add this critical nutrient to a child’s diet.
  • Choline: Found in eggs and nuts, this nutrient is important for the creation and function of neurotransmitters within the brain and nervous system. A hard boiled egg or handful of nuts are both easy ways to get choline.
  • Antioxidants: Antioxidants like Vitamins A and C help boost the immune system and aid the body in fighting disease. Many kids enjoy antioxidant-rich foods like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries without knowing how these delicious berries might also help keep them healthy and strong.
  • Whole Grains: Whole grains tend to have less sugar and fat and are good sources of fiber and many nutrients. Whole grain tortillas, breads and pastas make it easy to get whole grains every day.

For more tips from Dr. Greene, information about the benefits of DHA, or healthy recipes, visit or

At Horizon, we believe the choice for a healthy family and a healthy planet should be an easy one. We offer a delicious variety of certified organic dairy products and innovative natural dairy offerings to satisfy a broad range of consumer needs. Our commitment to a healthier planet includes offsetting the energy used to produce our products with clean, renewable wind power. In addition, we work with 500 certified organic family farms and in 2009 alone kept more than 15 million pounds of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers out of the environment. Founded in 1991, Horizon is a pioneer in the organic industry, the first company to supply organic milk nationally, and remains committed to providing great-tasting dairy products that make it easy for moms to provide nutritious options for her kids.

1 Johnson R.K. et al. The association between noon-time beverage consumption and the diet quality of school-aged children. J Child Nutr Mgmt, 2(1998), pp 95-100.