NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — It’s already time for parents to start sending their kids off to school, and it’s always important to do so with the help of a tasty lunch.

Luckily, a Sanford dietician has a few hints about making sure your kid’s meal is one that keeps them both healthy and happy.

“I usually recommend at least including three different items in a lunch,” explained Sanford Dietician Kelly Fisher. “So if it’s a sandwich, maybe have a yogurt and some fruit, or some fruit and vegetables.”

Fisher says that if you’d rather keep it simple, there are also ways to spice up your everyday sandwich.

“As far as lunches,” she stated, “you don’t want to get into the mundane rut of having a cold meat sandwich every day. So, to spice even that up, use different breads, or sometimes use a little bun. Or make a wrap with a tortilla.”

She also says it’s important to get your kids to help with the lunch packing process.

“Get your child involved with choosing different things,” Fisher continued. “Don’t put it all on yourself, but give them guidelines as far as what they need to take with them, including using fruit or vegetables, or find some protein you can incorporate into some of your snacks or meals.”

It wouldn’t be complete without a snack or side to go along with the sandwich, but as Fisher notes, it’s important to remember that many popular sugary treats can do more harm than good.

“There’s maybe a drop of fruit in these fruit snacks,” she stated, “if there is any fruit at all — it’s really not a fruit. You want to think of some of these things like, fruit snacks, fruit roll-ups, or Oreo cookies as treats. And not that there isn’t a place for that, but that shouldn’t be the go-to every day.”

If you’re looking for some healthier options to pair with your sandwich, the dietician has a few suggestions.

“These are really nice,” Fisher explained while pointing to a mixed tray of snacks. “They have dried fruit, nuts, and some cheese. It’s very easy to throw in there. Popcorn is also something that is easy. Pop it the night before. If you feel like you need a little bit more than that, you can make a little trail mix with it, and add maybe some dried cereal or some dried fruit that makes it taste a little bit different, too.”

Fisher says choosing these types of items is a way to make sure your kid has a balanced and tasty lunch during school.