Pack Lunches for Healthy Kids
Knowing what children eat at home and in school will help parents keep track of their children’s eating habits and make sure they are getting properly nourished. Aside from preparing breakfast and dinner, packing them some fun and healthy lunches will keep them off the vending machines and armed with nutritious food straight from the pantry.
Dr. William Gillespie, a pediatrician and chief medical officer at New York City-based EmblemHealth offers some tips for parents. First, he suggests giving the children a choice, because giving them a chance to decide what is in their lunch will increase the likelihood that they will eat it. Parents then should make sure these choices are all healthy, such as apples and carrots. To make vegetables more fun for kids, they can add a quick dip which can be made of plain non-fat yogurt plus a seasoning that the child will like, such as garlic powder.
Parents can also give them whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat pita or tortillas instead of white bread and make a sandwich with low-fat cream cheese and chopped vegetables. Other foods like low-sodium deli chicken or turkey, low-fat cheese can be made into kabobs, together with grape tomatoes and green grapes.
Gillespie adds that children are more likely to eat foods that are in bite-size pieces or slices, so parents should cut sandwiches into four squares, or create a fruit cup with pieces of different fruits. For something crunchy, they can bring baked chips, low-fat popcorn or whole-grain crackers.
Keep foods like warm macaroni and cheese in a thermos, and pack it with some small broccoli florets. Another healthy option is a three-bean chili with carrots and zucchini. On the other hand, use an ice pack to keep cold foods cold.
Advise children to avoid sugary drinks and let them have water instead.
Pack School Lunches That Are Healthy and Fun. EverydayHealth. http://www.everydayhealth.com/publicsite/news/view.aspx?id=668008
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