Don’t Overlook Lunch with Back to School Plans

It’s approaching back to school time, so have you though about your child’s (or children’s) lunch?  It’s sad to say, but for the most part our school’s cafeteria food is extremely lagging in terms of providing healthy, nutritious meals.  Even more upsetting is the fact that little can be done to improve these meals… simply put, it comes down to budgets and money.

lunch boxI do have good news!  Packing your child’s lunch can help guarantee your child is receiving a healthy meal that will help them stay focused and be motivated at school.  Same rules apply here for your child as they do for you: limit the amount of processed foods (packaged cookies, chips, etc) you provide, pack water, milk, or 100% juice instead of soda, provide plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, and make sandwiches on whole grain/whole wheat bread.

Make it a group effort; you and your child can make the lunches together as part of your nightly routine before bed.  That way your child has a say in the foods he/she will eat, you provide education to why eating a healthy diet is important (and lead by example!). It allows for some extra bonding time, and you are laying the foundation for your child’s health and their future food choices.

7 Responses to Don’t Overlook Lunch with Back to School Plans

  1. Thanks for the great post. More parents need to be aware of the nonsense that kids are being subjected at school cafeterias and vending machines.

    I would also add that getting the kids involved in preparing their lunches can help them make healthy eating a more regular habit.

  2. Brandi says:

    Yesterday I was with a young lady that I mentor. We stopped somewhere and she brought a bag of Ritz cheese crackers and a bag of Salsa Sun Chips and asked which was a better snack. I told her that neither was a “good” snack- but if she had to have one, I would show her how to tell. She’s 11- so we made it a quick lesson. I showed her how to compare calories, sugar and the first five ingredients on the label. She chose the Sun Chips.

    I think it’s so important to just provide these kids with information. They’re hungry for it if you’ll just show them. It was a simple two-minute conversation that will likely impact how she chooses her next snack.

  3. Kinsey says:

    Vending machines are another problem. While I was doing one of my rotations for my internship with the Florida Dept. of Education (DOE), I was told that schools are not “supposed” to have the vending machines plugged in while the school is serving lunch. I can tell you that rarely does a school follow that rule! When I was in high school we could buy soda, chips, candy, and any junk food we wanted during the school day. The only time the machines were unplugged was when the school was getting evaluated by DOE to see if they were incompliance. Packing your child snacks and educating them on healthy snacking and reading food labels is the only way to break the vending machine trend, because schools will not take them out…because vending machines provide them with money!

  4. Ann says:

    Such wonderful advise Kinsey! Parents take the time to make the meals and guarantee that your children will be eating healthy and know that they will be getting what nutrition is needed to succeed in whatever they are taking on!

  5. Jack Lowrey says:

    Kinsey I am so proud of you and I love your I sent it to the family. Jack

  6. Jack Lowrey says:

    I forgot to tell you I am on weight watchers diet. So I will read your information a lot.

  7. Kinsey says:

    Thank you Ann and Jack very much! Please let me know Jack if you have any questions and I wish you luck with weight watchers!

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