It’s that time of the year again when you need to start contemplating on the best food choices for your kid. Your kid is about to start another term at school and you need to make sure that he/she gets the best nutrition at home as well as school in order to cope up with the rigors of school life.
Here are some ideas for a proper lunch for school going kids. These pointers would help you realize what would be the best choices for your kid in terms of food and nutrition.
Ideas For A Proper School Lunch For Kids
Many kids find school lunches pretty exciting, not because they can eat their favorite foods but because they can decide what they want to eat without someone (especially you) bossing around them. And while doing so, most of these kids tend to skip the more nutritious foods while opting for either unhealthy foods or combinations.
If you find your kid regularly sticking to the unhealthier food choices at school, here are some tips that can help you bring him/her around. Explaining the basics of a healthy nutritious meal would be a start in steering your kid towards healthy foods. Check the menu card in the cafeteria together and point out foods that would be healthier for your kid.
It doesn’t hurt to indulge a bit occasionally. Instead of asking your kid to cut down on his/her favorite food altogether, ask him/her to make a combination of foods that he/she likes and foods that would be healthier for him/her. This would make it easier for your kid to shift over to the new food plan without sulking about the same.
Encourage your kid to include foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, whole wheat bread, and lean meats in his/her meal. Explain about the hazards of fried and fatty foods and gently coax him/her to skip these options for others that could be less hazardous.
Accordingly, instead of opting for the regular foods at the canteen, your kid can opt for low fat meats, mustard, mayonnaise, veggie dips, baked chips, trail mix, fresh fruit juices, home baked cookies, fruit muffins, and low fat milk etc.
Home Packed Lunches
Even though your kid may love eating at the canteen, encourage him/her to take a packaged lunch from home occasionally. This way, you can make sure that he/she gets his/her share of the nutrition on a day to day basis.
Your kid would probably not even open the package if you tend to stuff it with foods he/she doesn’t like. Alternatively, you can keep a suitable mix of his/her favorite foods and your choice of healthy foods so that he/she would be more tempted to eat the lunch instead of just throwing it out.
Opt for foods like peanut butter and jelly, wrap sandwiches, veggie dips, pitas, soups, salads, cold cut roll ups (with lean meats and mayonnaise), cracker sandwiches (whole grain varieties filled with peanut butter and jelly), celery sticks coated in low fat cheese, fruit juice boxes, fresh fruits, low fat pudding, oatmeal cookies and flavored gelatin etc. All these options can work out to form a very healthy lunch for your kid.
Make sure that you pack the lunch in such a way that it does not lose out on its nutritious value. This essentially means that the food that you pack needs to retain its temperature throughout the day. For example, a sandwich needs to be hot while yogurt or dessert needs to be cold.
Accordingly, it is recommended that you use cold packs for foods that need to be kept cold and thermos packs for foods that need to be kept hot. Washing your hands before packing the lunch would make sure that the foods don’t get spoilt midway.
Keep the packages in brown paper bags that can be discarded after lunch. Alternatively, if you send lunch in a box, make sure to wash the box thoroughly every day. Keep some napkins in the box or bag to remind your kids to both wash their hands both before and after lunch, and clean up afterwards.