Nearly one-third of our children are either overweight or obese and the sad fact that this generation is the first not to have the life expectancy of their parents is part and parcel to this. There is good news however in that one statistic states that the more education people had the less likely they were to be heavy, so let’s all focus on educating ourselves and our children. Improving children’s health by teaching them to eat better is critical to academic success as well.
As parents, we start out the school year with a vow to make more creative, healthier lunches only to have, by mid-December, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches three times a week. This year let’s try something new; involve your child in the creation of their lunches. If they are part of this process, their lunches are more likely to be eaten. Sit down with your child and create a menu. Do try to change your menus seasonally and if possible, purchase organic foods when you can. Here are some ideas for you.
• Monday: Hummus, celery, carrot and red pepper sticks, apple
• Tuesday: Peanut or almond butter sandwich on whole grain bread, broccoli florets with dip of choice, orange slices
• Wednesday: Cold noodle salad, snow peas, and peach
• Thursday: Bean salad, red pepper slices, and apricots
• Friday: Whole grain tortilla with black beans, salsa, lettuce and cheddar cheese
• Monday: Turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with sprouts and grated carrots, jicama slices with lime juice, nectarine
• Tuesday: Diced chicken drizzled with your favorite dressing, small salad, and apple
• Wednesday: Hardboiled eggs with dip of choice, cucumber slices, red pepper strips and carrot sticks, nectarine
• Thursday: Peanut or almond butter spread on a whole grain tortilla topped with sliced bananas and honey, thinly sliced raw zucchini with dip of choice, orange slices
• Friday: Tuna mixed with chopped olives, chopped celery and mixed with Italian dressing, raw cauliflower, cherry tomatoes
You need a protein source with each meal, which can be a meat protein such as chicken, turkey or fish such as tuna, or your protein can be from beans, nut butters, tofu, tempeh or eggs. Vegetables are the key to good health; so always have veggies in the lunch. A fruit included is a healthy addition and can be eaten later in the day for a sweet pick-me-up. Veggies and fruits also supply a good carbohydrate source. Healthy fats are also necessary and can be found in avocados, olive or flax oil (used in the bean salad or in the tuna salad), and nuts. Read More