Healthy Nutrition and Suggestions for School Lunches

Some staggering facts and research to consider regarding your child’s nutrition (some of this information taken from lunchbox.com)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have stated that of the children born in the year 2000, one out of every three Caucasians and two out of every three African Americans and Hispanics will contract diabetes in their lifetimes. As a result, that generation will be the first in our country's history to die at a younger age than its parents.

The New York Times reported recently that as a nation we are spending more than $147 billion a year to treat obesity, $116 billion to treat diabetes and billions more on cardiovascular disease and the many types of cancer that have been linked to diet. There is a very notable increase in Early Childhood delays, allergies, and learning disorders, also due to the lack of proper nutrition.

What our children are eating is crucial. There are numerous ways to get involved with this “food fight” to improve the meals served at school and foster healthy eating habits for our children.

Quality of Meals and Snacks

  • Early childhood educators and staff will encourage children to drink water and eat healthy
  • A large range of organic fresh produce
  • Menus will be posted on a consistent basis for parents and guardians.
  • Introduce new foods in small amounts, and provide multiple occasions for children to try them.
  • No outside food may be brought in for birthday celebrations.  Each child will choose a healthy birthday snack that will be made by the class.

We have a few simple suggestions to help make simple changes in the foods that we serve your children.

1. Provide easy healthy snacks at home and school. Think veggies and fruits over crackers and chips.

2. You should always include a healthy protein in their school lunches such as:

  • High quality deli meats
  • High quality cheeses and cheese spreads
  • Chicken and turkey salads
  • Soy butter sandwiches
  • Deviled eggs
  • Organic yogurts
  • Note-Include a thermos and ice packs in lunchboxes to keep these foods safe.

3.  Add a fruit and a vegetable to their lunches:

  • Hummus (A nutritious bean dip)
  • Whole wheat pastas
  • Black bean salsa and whole wheat tortilla chips
  • Cheese, avocado, and sprouts
  • Grilled cheese on whole wheat bread with cucumber or sprouts
  • Shredded carrots, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, avocado, and cheese
  • Cheddar or mozzarella cheese with apple slices
  • Cheese, tomato, sprouts or lettuce, and pesto sauce
  • Turkey with tomatoes, and lettuce or sprouts
  • Sliced leftover chicken or turkey
  • Sliced leftover chicken or turkey, honey mustard, tomatoes, and lettuce or sprouts
  • Sliced leftover beef with mayonnaise
  • Chicken salad
  • Salmon salad with lettuce or sprouts
  • Cream cheese
  • Boiled eggs or egg salad.
  • Tuna or tuna salad
  • Rotisserie chicken

In summary, the big food no-nos we want to stay away from are processed foods high in sugar, white flour, preservatives, and additives.

Thanks in advance for supporting us with healthy nutrition!

SNACK IDEAS

Fresh fruits:
  • Raspberries, strawberries, bananas, oranges, apples, watermelon, kiwi, cut-up grapes, mango, pineapple, fresh fruit smoothies...to name a few
Vegetables:
  • Broccoli, snap peas, cucumbers, celery, bell pepper strips (all colors), cauliflower, avocado, edimame...to get you started
Packaged snacks and crackers:
  • Snap pea Crisps (brand Calbee), Multigrain Tortilla Chips (all natural chips), whole grain cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Cheeses (not Kraft singles)
  • Whole wheat bagels and cream cheese; whole grain rice;
  • Applesauce
  • Organic yogurt – watch for sugar content in yogurt.  For example the trix yoghurt is very high in sugar
  • Eggs (unless there is an allergy in the class)
  • Hummus (with vegetables or whole grain crackers)

In summary, stay away from processed foods high in sugar, white flour, preservatives, and additives.

Thanks in advance for supporting us with healthy nutrition!

 

 

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