As parents, we want what is best for our children. Giving our children the best requires an enormous investment of time, energy, finances and emotions. If you are currently taking care of a child, you have an important role in helping to build the future. Your child’s future quality of life depends on what he or she learns from you about the importance of proper nutrition. Developing good eating habits with your children is extremely important – every bit as important as making sure they do their homework, wear a seatbelt, return home on time, and look both ways before they cross the street.
Humans are designed to consume a diet that is predominately comprised of plant foods (no, you don’t have to become a vegetarian!). Plant foods contain a symphony of essential phytochemicals that are vitally important to our bodies, at any age. We need develop the habit of eating fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, raw nuts and seeds as the foundation of our normal daily fare.
Lunches, including school lunches, are often deficient in nutrients and many times are just empty calories. Whether eaten at home, or packed for school or the office, here are some suggestions for a nutritious lunch.
· Fresh fruit
· Dried fruit
· Trail mixes
· Rice or pasta salads with vegetables
· Healthy soups (instant or use a thermos)
· Leftovers from dinners
· Cut up vegetables and healthy dip
· Vegetable wraps using hummus or healthy salad dressing as a spread
· Vegetable pita pockets with hummus or healthy salad dressing
· Beans and rice with salsa (can also be placed in a wrap)
· Organic nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew or soy) and spreadable fruit on whole grain bread
· Cereal and organic milk (rice, soy, almond, or oat) (Individual serving sizes of organic milks can be purchased in health food stores.)
· Prepare healthy snacks so vending machines can be avoided
Just as it takes time to teach your children to say “please” and “thank you”, it will take time to understand the change in the family’s value system to include the consumption of healthy foods and to begin practicing healthy habits.
Certified Health Educator
WellnessQB “Making Wellness Quite Basic”