Children return to school, either virtually or alternately; Within the routine one of the frequent questions of parents is how to make a healthy lunch box? Sometimes the hustle and bustle of days makes “junk food” such as packages, artificial drinks, snacks, sausages and sweets take center stage.
However, “these products are industrial inventions that, for the most part, contain little or no whole foods. They are high in calories and low in nutritional value. In addition, they are characterized by being fatty, salty or sugary, and low in dietary fiber, proteins and various micronutrients”, according to the Pan American Health Organization. Ultra-processed foods and beverages in America: trends, effect on obesity and implications for public policy.
For children to learn healthy eating habits, it is necessary that the lunch box is a complement to the daily meals, as it never replaces breakfast or lunch. In addition, it must be very balanced, with fresh food, nothing processed and always accompanied by water.
HOW TO PACK A HEALTHY LUNCH BOX FOR KIDS?
A healthy lunch box should contain foods like:
Fruits: are those that provide vitamins and minerals. Remember to wash them very well. Strawberries, banana, apple, pineapple, grapes cut in half are good options. A tip to preserve them, when you cut them into pieces, is to add a few drops of lemon.
Juiced fruit has lost credibility as to whether it is healthy or not, due to the sugar content and other reasons. However, if you like to offer them to your children, they are better than ending up drinking sodas or artificial juices.
Vegetables: very difficult to include? Maybe not. A sandwich with lettuce and tomato, carrot cakes, ham rolls with spinach, are some of the ideas to include in a healthy lunch box.
Carbohydrates and fats: provide energy, much needed for school age. How about a pancake, cheese sandwich or cheese fritters for a snack? Sure is better than a packet of potatoes.
Dairy: milk, butter, yogurt and cheeses are preferred by children. In addition, they are easily transportable packaged foods; They provide essential calcium for the growing bones.
Nuts: Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and peanuts are a great option. These foods are only recommended for children over 4 years of age, due to the risk of choking and pulmonary aspiration.
Proteins: you can include the one of your preference in the easiest way, in a sandwich.
IDEAS FOR A HEALTHY LUNCH BOX FOR KIDS
Planning and creativity make packing a healthy lunch box easier for kids. At Collaborative Research Group, we share some menu suggestions:
- Sandwich with chicken, cheese and vegetables, and natural fruit juice
- Arepa with cheese, strawberries cut in half, and cold oatmeal drink
- Fruit salad with grated cheese and peanuts.
- Ham, cheese and spinach rolls, a banana, and the drink can be a buttermilk.
- Homemade baked cheese fingers, a whole apple, and yogurt.
- Carrot pancakes, chopped fruit and water.
- Oatmeal and banana pancakes, natural jam and smoothie with vegetables.
If you want to see more ideas of what to pack in a healthy lunch box, mom communities are also a great help.
Take advantage of these menu recommendations for a healthy lunch box. The ideal is always to prefer fruits, vegetables and foods prepared at home, instead of packages and junk food that do not contribute anything. Ah! And remember, when it comes to nutrition, on the Collaborative Research Group we think of you.
The above content is for educational study and informational purposes only and has been developed by referring reliable medical sources and recommendations from health experts.