Monday, November 19, 2012

Healthy Meals, Healthy Mind-Packing the Right Lunch for Your Kid

Every night when you arrive home from work, you do some cleaning, make dinner for the evening and pack lunch for your child or children. That last task tends to give you some problems though. You want your children to eat their lunch and not just toss it away, but you also want the meal to be healthy. How can you accomplish this?

The Main Event
Sandwiches are popular for school lunches, so always choose whole wheat bread. When selecting cold cuts, buy them fresh from the deli as packaged ones have too much salt. Lunch boxes are so innovative these days though, and plenty of devices exist for keeping meals either warm or cool. Homemade vegetable soup is another excellent choice. You can also make some whole wheat pasta loaded with vegetables.

The Drink
Maybe your child buys milk at school, which is common for children to do. Be sure that it's of a low fat or fat free variety. If these options aren't available, you can purchase your own healthier milk containers and pack them in the box. Water is always going to be a big hit when it comes to health, and it will keep your child hydrated, especially during the warmer months. Flavored water is another possibility, but please make sure to read the label to see how much sugar is included in the drink.

Snack Suggestions
Fruits and vegetables, as long as they are cut as to not present a choking hazard, will never go out of style as healthy options for students. Provide a small container of dipping sauce to make them more appealing, or create your own applesauce at home. Other suggestions include soup as a side dish for a sandwich lunch or a container of quinoa as a side dish for a Mexican main course. You could also bake some sweet potatoes and mash them up as a treat for during the Thanksgiving season. Beans or a small side of whole wheat pasta with some homemade sauce are both other ideas for that special snack.

Now, let's go to one of the hardest parts of a meal to keep healthy. Yogurt is also a good idea, and you can check individual packages to find the ones that are lowest in fat and sugar content. You could also do fruit with a yogurt dipping sauce. Now, sometimes, you will just want to give the kids a special treat. When you want to give them a baked good, be sure that they are homemade. You'll know exactly what is going into the food, and they won't be coming out of some package that is laden with extra salt to keep everything fresh.

It's difficult to make the right choices for children when it comes to eating healthy, but, ultimately, it's all about finding a balance. You should give them foods that are healthy but that are also enjoyable. Furthermore, remember, every now and then it is fine to give them a less healthy treat.

About this article:Brianna Kelly has over 5 years experience publishing articles on parenting and child development. She writes on a regular basis for Giraffe Montessori School, a Dublin based childcare provider.


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