A school lunch study done by the University of Vermont finds that many students are throwing the fruits and vegetables into the trash.
The importance of a healthy lunch for children is crucial. The success of your child in most areas – including the performance at school – will be affected by the type of foods they put in their mouth.
As a parent, therefore, you should not take the benefits of a healthy lunch for granted. Where possible, talk to the administrators at your child’s school to ensure your kids are being fed well.
In case, your efforts in advocating for healthy lunches go unheeded, consider packing a healthy lunch for your child. In the long run, you will be glad you made the effort to ensure your child ate well.
The type of food your child eats will affect the following:
1. Their Self Esteem
When children eat healthy lunches and maintain normal body weight, they are less likely to develop such chronic health problems as cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Regular physical activity, combine with eating healthy, are the best way to help your children maintain a healthy body weight.
In the greater scheme of things, children who take healthy meals for lunch not only look good, they also have a positive perception of themselves. Therefore, you should always strive to teach your children the importance of eating healthy – especially as it relates to their self-esteem and how they view themselves.
2. Their habits
A recent report released by Kids Health showed that 1 in 3 children is obese or overweight. Seeing as how the rates of obesity among kids is on the rise, you should seriously consider what your kids are having for lunch. Additionally, you should go out of your way to make sure that your children are receiving adequate nutrition for their midday meal.
In the greater scheme of things, this might cause them to tempt them to develop unhealthy eating habits in the future. There is a close connection between bad eating habits and bad choices in general.
In case you discover that the lunch provided at school is only promoting unhealthy behavior and habits, you will immediately know that your kids are not learning how to eat healthily.
To ensure this does not happen; therefore, you should make your kids understand the importance of a healthy lunch. Only by so doing will you save them from the quicksand of being overweight.
3. Their Learning
The importance of a healthy lunch is also linked to how children learn. To this end, the Action for Health Kids has suggested that children who are obese and/or overweight might be at risk of absenteeism. This might, in turn, lead to lower achievement in academics.
In the same way, children who are overweight have several social problems. Their health might be affected, and they might feel bad being around other kids who, unlike them, are healthy.
Tips for Making Healthy Lunches Enjoyable
So, there you have it. Eating unhealthy has various impacts on how your child develops, how they look, how they perceive themselves, and how they perform in academics and the field.
To ensure this does not happen, you should use the following advice to ensure your children (as well as yourself) are having healthy foods for lunch.
a) Vegetables and Fruits
Always make sure that vegetables and fruits are part and parcel of the meals you pack for lunch.
As far as possible, select low-fat and/or non-fat dairy products for your lunch, and your child’s. These options are way better than regular cheese and fat milk.
c) Make It Fun
You should also make healthy lunches fun for your children. A good way to go about doing this is by packing notes for them, cutting up their healthy sandwiches into fun and happy shapes, and/or adding flavored low/nonfat milk for them.
d) Increase the Choice
Additionally, give your children healthy choices and help them make their lunch especially if they are old enough. This way, they will feel like they have some level of control over what they are having for lunch.
Getting Your Child’s School Lunch Changed
The lunches provided at school ought to promote the health of all students. Some changes that you can recommend at your child’s school include:
– Offering vegan options
– Making non-diary beverages available for those children who have allergies; these beverages should be rich in calcium
– Promoting programs that educate children, food service personnel, and parents about the many benefits and importance of a healthy lunch
Apart from the above-listed advantages of a healthy lunch, many benefits come with taking the time to go for lunch. For children, in particular, lunch is crucial.