Healthy School Lunches

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Your mornings may include a ritual shared by millions of parents all across the country: packing your childs school lunch. You can create a nutritious, well-balanced meal even if your child is a picky eater. Dr. Edward Hill explains how in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

What kids eat for lunch makes a difference in their health. Federal surveys show that children get about one third of their daily calories at lunch. The percentage of obese children has nearly doubled in the past 20 years. Childhood obesity is a risk factor for serious health problems in adulthood.

Some healthy suggestions to include in your childs school lunches include:

Bagels, rolls, pita pockets, English muffins, raisin or multigrain bread.

Chicken, tuna, or egg salad is packed with protein.

Luncheon meats, such as lean cuts of turkey, ham or roast beef are favorites with kids, and

Raw vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals.

When it comes to selecting a beverage, try milk or 100 percent fruit juice.

Snacks can be just as important as the main course. Stay away from cookies, cakes and other prepackaged sweets. Instead, try pretzel sticks, graham crackers, applesauce or fruit.

Remember the rule of thumb for packing a school lunch: simple, neat and healthy.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.