Yay! It’s time for back to school. All the shopping is done and book bags, school supplies and lunch boxes have been bought. Moms everywhere are heading to the grocery store to pick up lunch and snack items for little Johnny and little Suzi. Your hoping that this school year is better than the last, your childs school performance just wasn’t what you wanted it to be. You’re wondering how you can help change your child’s performance from last year. You can!
So, let’s talk lunch boxes and nutrition.
Dietary habits established in childhood often carry into adulthood, so it’s important to teach kids how to eat healthy at a young age. This will help them stay healthy throughout their life. Studies link good nutrition to better school performance, being physically active, and, eventually, a healthy adulthood. you’re likely to find that some of the meals you so lovingly created are rejected. Don’t worry, this is perfectly normal, but it is wise to try to get into a good routine as soon as possible.
I think where a lot of moms and dads get lost is they feel that they have to make these elaborate lunch boxes, which, this is not the case. Keep it simple. Does your kids lunch box contain all of these things?
- Fresh fruit
- Crunchy vegetables
- A meat or protein food such as slices of lean meat, hardboiled egg, peanut butter or nut paste*
- Dairy food such as a cheese stick or slice, grated cheese, milk or yogurt
- Starchy food such as bread, a roll, pita or flat bread, fruit bread or crackers.
- Healthy fat source, peanut butter, trail mix, nuts, seeds
Here are a few suggestions to get you going:
- Cottage cheese, almonds, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and a boiled egg, granola.
- Wrap-herbed cream cheese, lunch meat, lettuce, salt, and pepper on a spinach wrap. Serve with a Greek yogurt, grapes and carrots.
- Mini pizza-Round pita chips, pizza sauce, shredded cheese, olives, carrots and a plum.
- Mexican-Chunked grilled chicken, shredded lettuce, cheese, tomato, black beans, avocado, homemade tortilla chips
- Asian-whole grain brown rice, scrambled egg, peas, and carrots, chunked grilled chicken, served with a side of edamame and an orange.
I’m also not saying there is anything wrong with an old fashioned pb&j, or turkey and cheese sandwich, or the occasional chocolate chip cookie, little debbie snack or fruit snack. I’m just saying let’s feed our children’s brains and help them reach their full potential.
Happy Healthy Eating!
-Meagan B, Nutrition Coach