Lunch Nutrition Tips for Kids


in Kids Health

Teaching healthy food nutrition to your children is not an easy practice if your kids are eating lunch at a school cafeteria. If you are doing your best to feed your children a healthy breakfast and dinner, you should be teaching them how to pick nutritious foods from the school cafeteria. Many parents pack a lunch for their child to ensure their child is eating a proper lunch.

Lunch nutrition is harder for many people to decide than dinner and breakfast. Lunch tends to be the meal that people don’t want to eat too much but can’t eat too little. In many schools pizza, French fries, vending machines full of soda and potato chips, have begun to take over from healthy lunch choices.

Teaching your child that a lunch made up of potato chips and a can of soda is not a healthy choice is one of the best things you can do. Teach your child to choose wise lunch choices. Here are some lunch ideas for kids:

Pack a Lunch

If you are prepared to provide a nutritionally balanced lunch from a sack, be sure you are adding proper nutrients. A sandwich with lean lunch meat or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, with raw vegetables, a piece of fruit, and money for milk, is one of the best lunches to feed your child.

Make sure you know what items in the lunch need to be heated or refrigerated and know if your child will have access to a microwave or refrigerator. Talk with your kids for what they like to eat for lunch and have them help you pack their lunch.

Always keep in mind that prepackaged lunches may be convenient, but are often higher in fat, sugar and calories than meals you prepare yourself.

Just like other meals, lunch needs to be well-balanced and provide proper nutrition for your child to grow strong and healthy. Packing proper snacks with your child’s lunch will also help your child’s health in check. Fresh fruit can be used instead of cookies and potato chips. Snacks that are high in fiber and Vitamin C, low in fat, and have no added sugar are one of the best ways to improve your child’s diet. You can improve your child’s diet by incorporating the following snacks:

•apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, strawberries, watermelon, etc.
•dried fruits, including raisins and prunes
•fruit cups or canned fruit in water, 100% fruit juice or light syrup
•raw vegetables, including carrots, celery, or broccoli, that can be served with a low-fat dip or dressing
•dairy products, such as low-fat cheese, yogurt, and pudding, or a homemade fruit smoothie
•whole grain snacks, which can include some breakfast cereals, crackers, cereal bars, baked chips, and popcorn (without added butter), or pretzels
•popsicles made with 100% fruit juice
•nuts and trail mix
•water and milk

Taking the time to understand the children’s nutritional recommendations can go a long way to helping your child avoid obesity that leads to diabetes and heart disease. Knowing that your toddler is a picky eater and will not consume the same foods they consumed as an infant will help you make proper decisions for their nutritional diet. Many parents feel that giving their child fruit juice will help their child consume the amount of fruit they need each day. Checking the label on the fruit juice and knowing how much sugar is actually in eight ounces will give you a better idea if the juice is actually benefiting your child’s nutritional recommendations. Be safe about the foods you are purchasing for your child and make sure you have all the nutritional facts before buying certain foods.

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