I want my child to power through the school day, learning all she can learn, playing and exercising to increase her fitness, and smiling and laughing because she just feels so darned good. As the parents, we have the power to make this a reality for our school kids simply by providing them with the appropriate fuel.
It goes without saying to send them off with an energy boosting breakfast. Studies show that kids who eat breakfast have a lower Body Mass Index, higher levels of concentration, higher marks on standardized tests, and overall higher nutritional profiles. Breakfast will be another post - today we are talking about lunch!
My youngest daughter's school has a "balanced day." Instead of having "lunch" at 12 o'clock, they have two "nutrition breaks" evenly split up throughout the day. (I love it!)So we pack two small meals in the morning. Both meals contain protein and either a fruit or a vegetable. Luckily we have no nut allergies in our school, so many of the lunches here do contain nut products. Here are some examples of the meals I send for my daughter:
Homemade oatmeal pb bar and apple
Natural pb and banana on whole wheat bread
WW wrap with grilled chicken and veggies w/yogurt dip
Celery stuffed w/ nat pb, topped with raisins
Homemade trail mix
Yogurt, fruit and granola
Soup in a thermos
Pasta in a thermos
Apple, pear or orange, and almonds
Banana Dog(WW hot dog bun spread w/ almond butter and honey, w/a banana)
Sandwich on ww bread w/ thinly sliced meat (chicken, turkey, lean beef) spinach, tomatoes
Veggies and whole grain crackers w/ humms
Veggies and whole grain crackers w/ yogurt dip
Leftovers (Cold chicken and steamed veggies are a favorite)
DD9 carries a cool lunchbox that she picked out, and I try to find interesting containers to put her foods in (although we often use Tupperware and Zippie bags.) She brings her own water in a BHA-free stainless steel bottle. Needless to say, we rely heavily on pink and purple!
I send lunches instead of relying on the school lunch program for several reasons. First, I love providing the right nutrition for her. Secondly, she suffers from egg allergies and this way it's far easier to keep her away from trigger foods. Finally, she serves as an example of healthy eating for her classmates. Even her teachers have commented on her healthy and delicious lunches!!!