It’s that time of year again. Leaves are starting to change, weather is cooling down, and kids are headed back to school. With the start of the school year comes yet another 180 days of packing lunches every night and sending them off with the kids every morning. Have you ever thought about what goes into that little brown paper bag?
Healthy lunches are especially important for children because those nutrients give them the energy to grow, learn, and be active. By starting early and teaching your kids healthy eating habits now, you are giving them important tools for a lifetime of healthy living.
How can you start? Here are a few foods to put in your child’s lunchbox every day:
- Fruit: Best choices include fresh or tinned fruit. Stay away from dried fruit and fruit “straps”, as they are high in sugar and low in fiber.
- Vegetables: Try crunchy veggie strips with dip or a small container with mixed vegetables.
- Milk, yogurt: Include a small drink of milk and fruit yogurts. Stay away from dairy desserts and flavored milks, as they are high in sugar.
- Breads: Include a variety of bread, such as bread rolls, pita bread, flat bread, bagels, fruit loaf or buns, foccacias, scones, pikelets, muffins, crispbreads,, or corn thins.
- Muffins: Make your own muffins as a great way to include more fruits and vegetables.
As a parent, you have the power to greatly influence the eating habits of your children. The health of your children starts with you.