Your first priority should be to include as many healthy options as possible. For example, in our country where it is hot most of the year round, try to give lots of fruits as part of lunch. Make sure you are giving proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and minerals in reasonable quantities. Water is extremely crucial to keep the child hydrated.
You can follow the following food pyramid to include all the necessities in your child’s lunch:
In today’s age where education has become harder and children have become quite competitive, make sure that your child is eating healthy food. Avoid giving them too much junk food. Limit junk food to the weekend and also talk to the school regarding junk food policy. For example, many schools are very conscious of the consumption of such food and do not offer it on their premises while some schools are not very strict in this matter. There are other schools that encourage junk food as this is a means of earning good money!
Talk to your children and educate them about healthy eating habits. Talk to other mothers and share healthy recipes. For older children, try making small snacks with them so that they feel proud of making their lunch themselves. For example, make cupcakes with your kids over the weekend and let them take them to school during the week.
I believe many mothers are now working and find prepared food as the only option. This again is a very unhealthy trend in our country. Don’t worry. Now there are many enterprising women who make these things at home and sell them online or through their friends and family. Often they have a facebook page. Thus conduct a little research and look for these people. At least they are making food items at home in their own kitchen and therefore these are healthier than prepared food options.
Try giving dry fruits in winters. Today everything is available online. Look for easy to make recipes on the internet. Here are some useful links:
For little kids make some creative lunches to make it more attractive for them:
From time to time look for new ideas as children get bored of routine items. For example, if your child likes his friend’s lunch, call up his friend’s mother and get some ideas from her. Talk to the school to encourage healthy eating amongst children via education and fun. For instance, the school can make a science chapter about nutritional foods more interesting by asking children to make their own healthy dishes and bring them to school. Setting up a funfair where healthy food items can be displayed to give ideas for school lunch can attract kids to these items. Schools should invite a few nutritionists to educate children about the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
If schools take more responsibility for what students are eating, it will be of great help to parents. Parents can volunteer to help by sharing lunch ideas that the school can offer. Parents can even sell home-made food in the school after taking permission from the school administration.
Healthy eating amongst school children is the responsibility of parents and schools. If schools work in cooperation with parents, children will be eating food that is beneficial for their mental and physical growth. As a result they will perform better academically and have the energy to take part in sports and extra-curricular activities.