Body Break Fuel For The School Lunch Bag
Wow, how quickly the summer went and now the kids are back in school. Healthy lunches are the fuel for your child’s body. It helps them stay alert and productive and improves their behaviour.
Talking about healthy eating at home should start when they’re young but it’s never too late to begin to encourage and show your child how to make healthier choices. Healthy eating is about keeping it simple, affordable and convenient.
For the person in your household who does the grocery shopping, it is their responsibility to bring home the foods that will provide the best fuel. Healthy lunch foods should consist of: a source of protein to keep your child alert such as hard boiled eggs, chicken, lean ham; complex carbohydrates for slow-release energy like whole-wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice; calcium for growth, healthy bones and teeth such as skim milk, yogurt and fruit and vegetables for vitamins and minerals.
If you ask your child what they would like in their lunch bag, you’d probably get the same response as we did when we asked our daughter (who has been learning about healthier choices since she was young). She quickly said, with a big mischievous smile, “treats!” Although we think it is okay to provide a small treat in a lunch bag, we suggest that you limit it to once a week.
Treats are to be something special. Chips, cookies, candy, and salty snacks are not foods that should be stables in anyone’s diet, every day. These treats also tend to be the first foods your child will eat and therefore, could cause them to avoid the healthier ones.
Do try to find out what your child would like in their lunch bag and ask if there are any foods that other children bring to school that they want to try. Most children will just nibble on food or won’t finish it if it takes a lot of effort to eat, so peel oranges, slice sandwiches in quarquarters and pack small bite size pieces of pineapple, grapes or melon. A serving isn’t a lot.
In fact, six baby carrots or ½ cup is considered one serving. Everyone likes variety so mix up the breads, buns and wraps when making sandwiches and jazz up sandwich fillings with new combinations like canned light tuna with sliced apples and raisins, egg salad with grated carrots, diced green pepper and chopped celery or Hummus with roasted red pepper pieces.
Cold leftover pasta salad, grilled chicken and breakfast cereal with milk are easy alternatives to sandwiches. When it’s cold outside, pack a wide-mouthed mini-thermos with hot low sodium soup, pasta, baked beans, stew or leftover chili. Also have your child help pack their lunch so they can learn first-hand and eventually, do it on their own.
The school lunch is the fuel for your child’s tank. Make it premium fuel and get an “A” on this year’s lunch report card.
Keep Fit and Have Fun — Hal & Joanne www.bodybreak.com