The start of the school year is a great time to give a second thought to your kids’ lunches. Many kids rush through breakfast to get to school on time, and participate in after-school activities well into the evening. Having a healthy lunch that combines complex carbohydrates, lean protein, dairy, fruits, and vegetables is the only way they’ll get the energy they need to make it through their busy days.
“When lunch includes the right nutritional balance, it gives kids the energy they need to focus on their afternoon studies and enjoy their after-school activities,” says Namrata Shidhaye, MD, a family medicine practitioner with Duke Primary Care at Waverly Place in Cary.
Providing that combination of vitamins and nutrients is easier than it sounds. Start with these tips, which add variety to the tried-and-true school lunch ritual. Give these ideas a try, and soon you’ll quickly be making healthy lunches that will make your children the envy of the school lunch table.
Who says sandwiches need bread? When your child gets bored with the daily sandwich, switch it up. Use whole-wheat waffles, whole grain pita pockets, or rice cakes instead of bread. Try wrapping their favorite chicken salad, cold cuts, and cheese in Bibb or romaine lettuce, which stands up to fillings and adds flavor and crunch to their meal.
Let go of the mayo. If your kid likes guacamole or hummus, spread that on their sandwich instead of mayo. It pumps up the flavor as well as the good fat and protein content.
For more lunch tips, read the full post at DukeHealth.org. Duke Medicine, Go Ask Mom's sponsor, offers health tips and information on Tuesdays.