Although most schools lunch programs now offer more healthy options, many parents still prefer to pack a lunch.
For those parents, it’s important to find a balance between healthy foods and what their kid will actually eat.
Amanda Wade is a Physicians Assistant at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital. She specializes in pediatrics and adolescent medicine.
She says getting your kids input is a good way to make sure they will be eating a healthy lunch.
” I think first of all you have to remember you are dealing with kiddos so it has to be fun. Something they are going to like and enjoy. So if we try to give our kids things that we think they should be eating sometimes you get a little resistance. Inviting the kids to help pack their lunch is a good idea. You guys can make the decisions together. ”Amanda Wade. Physicians Assistant WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital
Studies show that what a child eats can direct on both their physical and academic performance.
” Your simple simple carbs break down really quickly and as a result it can spike your glucose level which is your sugar in your body so kids get kind of jittery and restless for a while and then they crash really quickly too. So it’s kind of a quick response that happens with food like that so if you have more complex carbs like sweet potatoes and greens that break down a little slower that kid is going to function better in a school environment”Amanda Wade. Physicians Assistant WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital
Wade says some good lunch options include grab and go items such as nuts, cheese sticks or raw vegetables.
She also suggests mini water bottles over juices that are often loaded with sugar.
She also says it’s a good idea to stay away from processed foods such as lunchmeats.
” I would rather see chunked chicken breasts in a lunch than a sandwich with turkey and cheese. So the processed food are ones that come in the box and they are the ones that are in the middle of the grocery store. So if you want to shop the perimeter of the grocery store often that’s when you are going to find your good protenes and fruits and vegetables.”Amanda Wade. Physicians Assistant WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital
Wade says good eating habits should last throughout the school year.