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A Healthy School Lunch: Keeping your child's nutrition balanced away from home
I remember my Mom and Dad clothes shopping for my brother, sister and me for school. We hit certain clothing stores my Mom liked. Her favorite was a store called Alexander's which is no longer in existence where I was raised. Times have not changed when it comes to the back-to-school shopping rush. I now avoid certain clothing stores around back-to-school time because of the hustle and bustle of parents and children trying to get great buys on back-to-school items. Something got me wondering - hmmm? For parents who prepare their children's lunches are they this fervent in shopping for lunch items as they are for their children's clothing? My answer would be, probably not. Some of my friends, with their kids, make lists of clothing items necessary or wanted for the school year. I think parents should also make out a list of necessary food items that their children should take with them for lunch. By necessary, I mean food that will sustain children throughout the day; foods that will boost brain power and provide enough energy for physical exercise and won't leave children drained by the end of their day. If your children are computer literate why not make finding nutritional foods for lunch a family affair? Kids love to spend their parents' money so let them come up with a grocery list and here's how:
- Let your kids find foods that will boost their brain power. Tell them to do internet searches on foods they like that will help them concentrate.
- Let your kids find foods that will keep them from getting tired or fatigued during the day.
- Tell them they have to choose fruits and veggies and to make a list of them.
Healthy food tips to be mindful of when preparing your child's lunch.
- To help keep your child's blood sugar levels even, protein should be part of each meal.
- Want to make sure your child's brain is fueled, then make sure he or she has a good carbohydrate.
- Make sure your child has their fair share of fruits and veggies. I am such a fan of fruit or green smoothies. Green smoothies are a blend of green leafy veggies and fruit.
- Always make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast because it's proven that kids who eat breakfast do better in school.
Healthy School Lunch Ideas
- Peanut butter & jelly / jam on 12 grain or wheat loaf bread or pita bread, piece of fruit, with an organic bag of chips, and organic low-fat milk or juice.
- Chicken or Turkey or Veggie wrap (tortillas) with lettuce or spinach, white cheese (yellow cheese has food dye), bean sprouts, onions, tomato, oil and vinegar. Cut up fruit like orange slices, apple slices, or berries. Organic juice box.
- Salad with chunks of chicken or turkey, shredded or grated white cheese or feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, croutons, sliced banana peppers, shredded carrots, low-fat Caesar dressing. Plantain chips, piece of fruit, and organic low-fat chocolate milk.
- Brown rice or pasta with mixed veggies and turkey, Greek yogurt topped with fruit, organic trail mix, organic apple juice.
- For cold winter days a thermos of hot veggie soup, chicken noodle soup, or chicken and rice soup with organic pita chips will hit the spot at lunch time. Also, have a thermos of hot raspberry or blueberry tea and a banana on the side.
- Sushi Rolls (not raw, of course). How unusual and fun is this for a kid's lunch? You and your child can try your hands and make them yourselves. See link below to make sushi at home.
- Toasted pita triangles with Hummus, baked chicken fingers, pineapple slices, flavored water.