Healthy School Lunches

Posted on Monday, August 26, 2013 by Health_and_Fitness

Healthy School Lunches for Your Kids

As the new school year gets underway, are you wondering how you can help your child navigate the school cafeteria in a healthy way?  In most areas, school lunches have improved significantly over the years, both in terms of both taste and nutrition, but some still exceed recommendations for fat.

What can you do?

  • Use school lunches as a chance to steer your kids toward good food choices. Especially with younger kids, explain how a nutritious lunch will give them energy to finish the rest of the school day and enjoy after-school activities.
  • Encourage kids to choose cafeteria meals that include fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and whole grains, such as whole wheat bread instead of white. Try to avoid fried foods when possible and choose low-fat milk or water as a drink.
  • Consider packing a healthy lunch; start by brainstorming foods and snacks that your kids would like to eat. In addition to old standbys, such as peanut butter and jelly, try pitas or wrap sandwiches stuffed with grilled chicken or veggies. Try soups and salads, and don't forget last night's leftovers as an easy lunchbox filler.
  • Try some easy lunch makeovers – e.g., fresh fruit or fruit in natural juices instead of fruit in syrup.

Get more information plus lots of suggestions for easy / healthy packed lunches at KIdsHealth  http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/lunch.html#, sponsored by the Nemours Foundation – KidsHealth and TeenHealth are  well-respected sources of information about a wide variety of kids’ and teens’ health topics.

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