September is approaching, which means it's back-to-school time for the kids. With the start of the school year comes a choice that every parent must make: what are some good and healthy lunch options for their children?
The importance of good nutrition for kids on their general health and well-being cannot be overstated. It's a difficult choice to make since you have to think about both the flavor and the nutritional benefits. Fortunately, our registered dietitian offers some ideas for kids' food planning.
A nutritious lunch will guarantee that your child gets all of the nutrients he or she requires. To begin, there are a few things to bear in mind. First, to ensure proper nutrition for kids, there are a few items that should be included in every lunch box.
Protein is essential for general health and bodily functioning since it contains essential nutrients such as vitamin E and B, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Protein aids in development, attention, and tiredness reduction, which is especially essential for children’s nutrition. Grilled chicken, hummus, yogurt, almonds, and avocado are all good sources of lean proteins and healthy fats.
Fruit is high in minerals, vitamins, and fiber, all of which are necessary for a healthy body. Fruit is also high in antioxidants and beneficial to the immune system.
Vegetables, like fruits, are high in minerals, vitamins, and fiber, all of which are important for overall health and illness prevention. Mix and match your veggies to ensure that your children receive all of the vital nutrients they require.
Grains contain fiber, protein, carbs, and a variety of nutrients that are essential for a balanced diet. When opposed to white bread and pasta, whole grains such as wheat, oats, and brown rice are healthier for your child's health.
Milk and bone health are inextricably linked. Dairy is an important element of every child's diet since it is their major source of calcium. Calcium and vitamin D are essential components of a growing child's diet for strong and healthy bones.
While these are essential components of a well-balanced diet, there are a few items that children should avoid or consume in moderation.
Avoid adding sugars like brown sugar, honey, or artificial sweeteners to your child’s diet. Naturally occurring sugars such as in fruits are fine as long as they’re taken in moderation. Avoid sodas and energy drinks. Our pediatric dentists recommend against excess sugar intake and having healthier snacks instead.
Reduce fat intake from red meat, poultry, and full-fat dairy products. Instead, add more vegetables and nuts that provide the required fatty acids. Olives, seafood, nuts, and avocados are great sources of healthier fats.
On average, kids these days consume more sodium than necessary for a healthy diet. Replace chips as snacks with vegetables instead.
A few healthy lunch ideas for kids as recommended by our pediatric nutritionist
· Wholegrain sandwiches made with lean meat and cheese with salad on the side
· Hummus dips with vegetables, pita bread, and crackers
· Fruit yogurt with muesli for added fiber
· Multigrain crackers, cucumber, frozen blueberries, deli turkey, creamy dip, and mandarin oranges
· Turkey sandwich and berry kabobs, baby carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli,
· Multigrain crackers, sugar snap peas, baby carrots, hummus for dipping, red grapes, and yogurt
It's challenging to come up with a nice and nutritious lunch plan for your children. Children are often picky eaters and balancing taste and nutrition is a challenge. However, having a balanced diet is important for a child’s overall health and well-being. So, get creative with your lunch ideas!