8 Mistakes To Avoid When Packing A Healthy Lunch For Your Kids (Part 1)
Believe it or not, children’s packed healthy lunches from home are usually higher in calories, fat and sugar than lunches served in schools. Many dietitians believe this is because many parents lack education in children’s nutrition and often resort to making what’s convenient instead.
The problem here is that fast and convenient sometimes means you could be sacrificing the balanced diet that your child should be having. Fortunately, there’s more good that we can do than bad when it comes to selecting what to pack for our children next time. So the next time you plan your child’s next snack and lunch, just make sure that you avoid these following mistakes:
1. Packing too much food
As a kid once, you probably felt like your mom was being crazy when she packed your lunch box to the brim and even had you bring a doggie bag for your extra snack. But now as a parent, you know exactly why you feel like packing a complete lunch set for your child. We all worry, it’s normal. However, what we forget is that our children will come back with empty lunchboxes regardless of what we pack. To help gauge just how much the “right amount” of food is for your child, observe how your child eats on the weekend.
2. Choosing foods meant “for kids”
It’s marketed for kids, but you can bet that your child is better off without most of them. What we should be looking for has healthy levels of sugar, salt and other ingredients. Sadly, many consumables “for kids” out there have an imbalanced amount of what the kids really need to be eating (like too much sugar, sodium and tummy fillers), in addition to a whole slew of ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. Remember, it’s better it’s always best to review the nutrition facts panel.
3. Providing too little protein
It’s a common mistake to pack a variety of “healthy” snacks and forget about the protein. Yes, we parents shouldn’t forget that having protein is as important as having those healthy carbohydrates, so your child doesn’t feel hungry too soon. About 5 to 7 grams of protein would be good enough. So you don’t actually have to pressure your child into eating meat and poultry all the time, you can provide perhaps granola bars that your child would enjoy.
4. Disregarding child’s food preferences
While it’s true that we shouldn’t ask them about what they want for lunch (as if they’d actually say fruits and veggies, right?), we should still consider some of their personal food choices. At least include a couple of their healthier selections and throw in an acceptable amount of sweets several times a week to reward them for always emptying their lunch boxes and to help make lunch times something to enjoy and look forward to.
(Continue reading this article HERE.)