Monday, August 30, 2010

Tips for Packing Lunch

I am surprised that my first grader actually loves school lunch. He has always been a picky eater. I don't think our lunch is that bad. It's skim milk and whole grains. The sodium is way to high though. I make him take a lunch at least two days a week because of all the salt in the school meals. I also throw in some fresh fruit during the days he has school lunches. Sometimes the school provides fresh fruit, but I bet it will be mainly canned over the winter. I am really glad it's not white bread this year like it was last year!

FROM NBC: With school either underway or just around the corner for most kids, students have to get back in their groove of studying and getting to sleep on time. Parents have plenty of challenges too, including what to pack for lunch. Tonight, some healthy lunch ideas your kids are sure to love.

Back to school means back to packing lunches. Registered dietitian and mom Susan Kamin has a few ideas to keep your kids into eating the right things.
First and foremost, think variety. Susan Kamin/ registered dietitian: "That's every day as well as throughout the week."

She says its key to have one food from each of the five food groups:
A whole grain, a lean protein such as chicken, turkey, or hummus, yogurt, cottage cheese or another dairy option and definitely a fruit and vegetable. Susan Kamin/ registered dietitian: "When you think about those as a rainbow of color, the more color the better. you're going to get all your various nutrients if you include lots of colors."

Also important, try and make it fun. "I have a quesadilla on whole wheat tortilla for Daniel. I love that." Susan's little ones, Catherine and Daniel can't get enough of this good stuff. "I love this." Susan says treats are OK at lunch, but in moderation. Susan Kamin/ registered dietitian: "I would say homemade treats are probably the best option because you can control what goes in you can use the whole grain flours. you can lessen sugar and butter that might be in it." As for drinks, juice boxes are fine every now and then, but it's not the best pick for every day. finally plan, and pack in advance.

Susan Kamin/ registered dietitian: "Convenience is key when getting the kids out the door in the morning." And if you choose wisely, they'll keep coming back for more. "Would you like some more fruit, Catherine?" Finding the time to make your child's lunch can pay off in healthy ways. A USDA study of 13-thousand kids found those most likely to be obese were those who ate school lunches.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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