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Back to School Lunches!

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Back to school excitement includes new clothes, a new haircut, and a new lunchbox!  How about this school year we also try a lunchbox makeover?  One of the things we enjoy most about summertime is NOT having to pack a lunch every day.  My hope is to provide you with information to make life a little easier while you provide the best nutrition possible for your children.  Why is this important?

Meaningful Math

  • 1 child in 4 is obese
  • Less than 7% of children eat the recommended three servings of veggies per day
  • In the last 20 years, type 2 diabetes has increased ten-fold
  • Children should eat no more than 1,000 mg of sodium per day. Adults no more than 1,500-2,400 mg of sodium per day.
  • The average adult eats 150 lbs. of sugar a year. That’s over ½ cup a day! Children consume about twice as much – about 300 lbs. a year!
  • This is the first generation that has a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

 

            Unfortunately we cannot trust the schools to feed our children a healthy lunch although they are trying to make changes in that direction.  In our family, our children can buy a school lunch once a week with the money they have earned.  So what to do the rest of the week?  How to avoid the rushed chaotic mornings?  When should we pack lunches and what should we put in them?  Like most everything good nutrition takes a little planning but once the system is in place it is no more difficult or time consuming than brushing 

**Set aside a drawer in your refrigerator and a shelf in the pantry for lunch box foods.  Include your children in the grocery shopping if possible and wash and prepare foods once a week so they are ready to go.your teeth. 

**Let your children pack their own lunch.  My 5 year old son who begs for 5 more minutes of sleep packs his lunch box after his finishes dinner.  In the morning we add an ice pack and go.  My 6 year old daughter on the other hand is a morning person so she packs her lunch in the morning after breakfast.  It is important to not pack a lunch when they are hungry just like it is not a good idea for us to grocery shop when hungry.

**If your child is too young to understand the difference between protein, starch and dairy I suggest using colored stickers and having them pick one of each color.  Also encourage them to find ways to eat all the colors in the rainbow (no skittles do not count).

**Ask your child to bring home their leftovers so you can discuss what they didn’t eat and possible eat those items for an after school snack.

 

 The Perfect Lunchbox Includes:

1 serving of a protein-rich food

1 serving of a carbohydrate or starchy food

1 serving of a calcium-rich food

1-2 servings of fruits

2-3 servings of vegetables

1 drink – preferably water

In order to bridge the gap between what we should eat and what we do eat, our family eats Juice Plus+ every day.  Please contact me if you would like more information!  Remember what you put in their bodies is far more important than what you put on them so take the time and spend the money to send them off to school this year with high quality brain fuel.  Blessings!  Gennie

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Portrait of Gennie