Mary Brighton is participating in a four-week dietetic training program until mid February 2013. She hopes to complete the French government’s dietetic requirements to have the right to practice the dietetic profession in France. Wish her luck! In the meantime, over the next month she brings you highlights of articles published during the first year of BrightonYourHealth. Happy reading and please feel free to add your opinion in the “Leave a Reply” section below the article.
What a beautiful and healthy lunch!
My favorite essentials for a healthy packed school lunch
1. Variety – Different foods = Different vitamins and minerals. Putting different foods in your kid’s packed lunches ensures that they have a better chance to meet their vitamin and mineral requirements. Planning out lunches with a weekly menu may help make this job easier.
2. Whole grains –Substituting whole grain breads, brown rice and whole wheat pasta for simple grains is a easy way to increase the amount of fiber in your child’s diet.
3. Fresh fruit and vegetables –Providing fresh fruit and/or vegetables in each packed lunch helps to meet the “5 a Day” fruit and vegetable goal.
4. Food Safety-A good insulated lunchbox is important to keep food at the right temperature. If your child’s packed lunch will stay outside the refrigerator for extended periods of time, the foods inside the lunchbox should be a good temperature, with cold foods staying cold and hot foods staying hot. This may mean putting a blue ice in the lunchbox or hot foods in a special insulated container.
5. Taste- Providing healthy foods that your kids will eat is just as important as selecting healthy choices. Involve your children in what foods to pack in their lunches by asking them what foods they like to eat. If you put new foods in the lunchbox inquire if your kids actually ate them.
6. Water to drink– Water is the best drink for kid, but if your child refuses to drink water, other drink options are 100% juice or milk. Here is an article on why water for kids is the best drink for their overall health.
7. Healthy desserts and snacks-Save the chips and packaged sugary desserts for other occasions. Provide your kids with healthy alternatives such as a granola bars, yogurt, applesauce, or even just a small piece of good chocolate (like the French do!).
8. Keeping close to the earth as possible- Avoid over-processed foods and prepackaged lunch items such as lunchables. Provide foods that come as close to the earth as possible, like a piece of fresh fruit instead of low sugared applesauce.
If you find this article useful, why not pass it along using your favorite sharing method?
You can download your free E-report on tips to eat healthy with an international twist by subscribing to BrightonYourHealth Newsletter here. You will receive emails after publication of each article on the site and have access to the latest information on health and nutrition for small and big kids (and adults!). Click on this link to subscribe here.