THE BRONX - Parents and children are gearing up for the beginning of the school year. Aside from school supplies and back-to-school wardrobes, they are also preparing for school lunches.

News 12 spoke to registered dietitian Dee Panaram, who brought along a play lunch bag to reveal tips about what children should be consuming during lunch at school.

Panaram suggests foods rich in protein because they aid in growth and development. She also says foods containing carbohydrates help children produce more energy.

The dietitian says a sandwich made with whole wheat bread and grilled chicken would provide school children with their daily protein and carb needs. She says two slices of turkey, one slice of cheese, tomato and mustard would also work.

She says incorporating fruits and vegetables into school lunches are also essential. Panaram says to introduce children to fruits at a young age by giving them apple slices and a handful of grapes. She says dunking vegetables like carrots and celeries into peanut butter will make them more palatable.

Panaram encourages parents to find alternatives to greasy foods like chips. She says choosing a baked popcorn with minimal butter is a great substitute.

She says it's important not to deprive children of their favorite unhealthy foods by allowing them to eat them once a week.