Keep Your Child's School Lunch Healthy With These Adjustments

Posted on: 4 October 2017

When your child begins school, you'll often receive a list of responsibilities for sending your child off each morning. On this list will be some lunch recommendations that usually revolve around ensuring that products that contain peanuts are present. While you'll want to adhere to this rule, this isn't the only thing to keep in mind when you prepare your child's lunch. Focusing on his or her nutrition is paramount for several reasons. A nutritious lunch can keep your child from feeling sluggish or even acting out in school. Here are some adjustments to make.

Avoid Processed Meats

Processed foods can be tempting to add to your child's school lunches because of their ease of preparation, but many processed foods can actually cause fatigue. If your child is tired after lunch, he or she may struggle to concentrate in school, which could have negative consequences. One type of processed food to avoid is processed luncheon meats. Sliced ham, salami, and old luncheon meats are also high in fat, which isn't ideal for your growing child who needs nutrition. If you want to pack a sandwich with meat, use freshly sliced meat like you'd serve at dinner.

Involve Lots Of Color

Different-colored foods offer different nutritional benefits, which means that if you pack your child's lunch to look like a rainbow, he or she will be getting lots of nutritional value. Even small portions are OK, and you may get your child enthused about eating things of so many varied colors. Select some broccoli florets, cherry tomatoes, sliced yellow sweet peppers, and then offer purple grapes, slices of orange, and blueberries for dessert. The fruits are especially valuable as a source of sweetness — children will often want to end their lunchtime with a sweet treat, but these natural sources of sugar won't have the unhealthy side effects of refined sugars.

Consider Flavored Water

One way that children consume too much sugar in their school lunches is through what they drink. Even if you don't give your child soda, he or she could still be getting a surprising number of grams of sugar in fruit juice. While these sources of sugar are technically not as bad as soda, similar results can take place — your child may get energized, which could lead to behavioral problems, and then feel tired afterward. Water is best, but if your child isn't enthused about water, then flavored, unsweetened water can be an option.

For more information about nutrition and nutrition plans, contact an expert.