A Healthy School Lunch

Monday, 12. September 2016

A Healthy School Lunch

Now that school is starting again, many parents wonder what you should give to your children as a snack or lunch. 

The right school snack has a stronger effect on school performance than one might think. The proper nutrients are important to help your child stay focused and attentive, and not all food options provide for long-lasting energy. The wrong foods can make a big difference. 

Food and beverages often lack the most important nutrients the body needs and instead contain excessive sugar. This is not the best basis for optimal physical and mental performance.

It is best if you prepare your children's snacks daily. It is important to provide varied snacks that cover the whole range of nutrients. The following components should be included:

  • Whole Grain: Whole grains have many advantages over products made from refined, white flour. They provide carbohydrates, fiber and minerals. Thanks to their lower glycemic index, they allow the blood sugar levels rise more slowly so there is not a sudden drop in physical performance. Fiber also ensures a prolonged feeling of satiety. In addition, whole grains have a high nutrient density.
  • Protein: Protein is essential for the healthy development of your child. Low-fat meats such as ham or lean sausage are suitable, but vegetable proteins like hummus are also good options.
  • Calcium: milk or no milk, it is important that dairy products do not contain too much sugar. Drinkable yogurts often fall under this category. Generally sweet milk snacks or candy bars are unsuitable.
  • Vitamins: Fresh, raw and seasonal fruits and veggies make a perfect match for a healthy snack. Cut them into slices or strips, and make sure your child likes them. Apples and dried fruit are good options. 
  • Drinks: avoid soft drinks and caffeine. It is best to give your child water, unsweetened fruit or herbal teas or fruit juices diluted with water. These options contain little or no sugar and are healthy.
  • Sweet: There's no point in banning your child from sweets. At school they will always have the chance to buy, trade or snack on a sweet from a friend. Therefore, you should just sometimes add a sweet surprise for a snack, just don't make it a habit. There are also healthier alternatives are to chips.