Is it better to make your child's lunch or have them eat at the school cafeteria? Well that questions depends on what your school provides and what you provide.
Of course, all food will provide children with energy that their body needs to keep growing. They are, after all, a high output factory creating thousands of new cells as they continue to develop. Their brain, in particular, is not only growing but it is learning! And food provides the fuel for these activities.
But, children also need specific nutrients to help them grow optimally and fight off disease. These nutrients come in food naturally as minerals, vitamins and fiber. The body also needs protein, some healthy fats and plenty of fresh water.
Schools are now mandated to provide a healthier meal to children. They have guidelines that their meals must provide.
Schools must offer students foods from each of the five food groups. A school lunch would offer:
Children must select at least three of these options each day, including at least one fruit or vegetable.
A new study indicates that lunch made at home may be less nutritious and here's why. Lunches made at home:
Hmmm. I am a big proponent of bringing lunch from home, it is usually more economical, kids can help prepare their lunch and you can customize it to the foods your child enjoys which means they are more likely to eat (versus dumping it or trading it)
So take a look at the list above that school use as their guidelines and create a healthier lunch for your child using the same guidelines they are using. If you want to put a special treat in your child's lunch, pick only one and pick a special day. This way you are giving them a choice and teaching them that these are once in a while treats.
Nourish Thought for the Day:
A healthy lunch starts with healthy plan made up of a variety of foods from the five food groups.