Healthy stomachs, healthy minds

By: Health Local Staff Aug 29, 2012
kid's lunch idea's

It's important to understand that what your children eat will ultimately affect how they learn and feel.

As a parent it is important that you focus on your children’s nutrition. It becomes more and more difficult to create healthy options for your children, especially during the school year. But healthy moms don’t give up hope, because it is possible to have fun and healthy in the same sentence when making foods for your kids. First and foremost it is important to understand that what your children eat will ultimately affect how they learn and feel. Here are some guidelines on what to keep in mind when creating what they’ll be digesting.

Keep it Simple
In the world of a child, everything is simple and gets broken down into three categories:

  • What tastes good and what doesn’t
  • What sounds cool and what doesn’t
  • What’s real, and what’s in their imaginations (which, as you know are pretty active)

When packing their lunch, you want to ensure that you put lots of thought into it. Most children prefer iceberg lettuce over mixed greens, and Kraft Singles over aged gorgonzola. Remember, you know your child best, and if you want them to eat the lunch Mommy packed instead being tempted to fill up on junk food or fast food, you don’t want them struggling to guess what’s inside their lunch box.

Keep it Organic
With oranges the size of a basketball and Bologna that can sit in the fridge for a year without molding, it is safe to say that most food has been overexposed to all the wrong things (pesticides, additives, preservatives and other chemicals). Try to buy foods in the organic section. Most grocery stores nowadays have one, and most cities have a weekly farmer’s market. It is a little bit more costly; however, it is better for them in the long run. Allow them to taste and try different fruits and vegetables. The more they explore their food, they more excited they will be when they find it in their lunchbox.

Keep them Involved
Children like to feel involved and make their own decisions. Allowing a child to help choose and create their meals allows them to have a sense of empowerment. It creates a sense of pride and understanding about what they are eating. The more involved they feel, the more they will enjoy what they eat.

Now you know the basics of what to look for when you go shopping. Before you start packing, let’s take a look at some options that fit these guidelines. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive and there’s a lot of play in there for flexibility and to account for individual tastes and allergies. These are just a few suggestions.

  • Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwiches
  • Turkey Melon Wrap
  • Turkey Meatball Pita
  • Romano-Cheese Flatbread Crisps
  • Chicken and Fruit Salad
  • Tuna Sandwich with chopped celery and carrots
  • Vegetable Chili
  • Ham and Cheese Pita
  • Parmesan Pita Chips
  • Hummus
  • Guacamole and crackers

The Health Local Staff is a team of writers and experts dedicated to bringing you the latest health, nutrition and lifestyle information at