Healthy foods for kids' school lunches

Healthy foods for kids' school lunches


Child's diet at school

Our children stay in school for up to nine hours a day. During this time, they should eat at least one nutritious and nutritious meal. Unfortunately, most of them prefer chips and bars bought in the school store than dinners in the canteen. The influence of the peer group on school nutrition is very large, so we can hear from a child that "sandwiches are out of fashion". It also happens that students secretly throw sandwiches in the bin or do not eat any meals at school.

What should a student eat?

Studying at school can be treated as hard work, the results of which depend on the intellectual and physical form, which in turn results from the way we eat. For the proper brain to work, glucose is needed, which can be provided by starchy foods such as bread, cereal, rice, potatoes, and fruit. The most calories in the day should provide dinner. The optimal time to eat this meal is 13 or 14.

Students often eat too greasy and too sweet meals that have excessive energy density. This means that there are too many calories in the low weight of the food. This is the case with sweets and sweetened drinks. The calories provided to your child by two chocolate bars are similar to the number of calories provided by a two-course compote dinner. At the same time, they are "empty" calories because they do not provide the body with the necessary nutrients. Inappropriate nutrition can, therefore, lower our children's academic performance and cause obesity. Excessive weight is now observed in every fifth boy and every sixth girl. 80% of them will remain obese in adulthood.

School meals

Our child must eat a meal during breaks. It is important that school food is held at regular times whenever possible. Otherwise, we risk a shortage of nutrients and reduce the body's energy expenditure to save energy (then the body puts energy away), which causes weight gain.

It is healthiest to eat five meals a day when the breaks between them are not longer than 3 - 4 hours. Therefore, children should eat a second breakfast at school, which is supposed to constitute 5 - 10% of the energy value of the daily food ration, or a second breakfast and lunch, representing 30 - 35% of the energy value. If the child comes to school for a second shift, they should eat lunch at school. It should be remembered that a healthy child should eat three warm meals every day, i.e. breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Who shapes healthy habits?

Our children learn at school the principles of healthy eating in primary classes. Older students will also talk about this in biology lessons. It is important that parents, teachers, and school authorities work together in shaping healthy eating habits, e.g. in providing students with the right nutrition offer or in shaping healthy attitudes. Parents who have purchased dinners in the canteen are not sure that the child will remember the meal. In this regard, it is also worth asking teachers for help.

Parents should also look at the menu in the school canteen and, together with the school authorities, strive to provide valuable and nutritious meals. It is worth talking about these matters at parents' meetings because an attractive school canteen can distract children from unhealthy food. School canteen dinners should contain cereal products (e.g. buckwheat, brown rice, wholemeal pasta), at least two portions of vegetables and protein products in the second course (e.g. lean meat, sea fish). The Parents' Council may affect products sold in school stores. Strive for healthy and valuable products to be cheap and attractive to students.

Mom, everyone is eating chips at school!

Talk to your child about healthy nutrition. Certainly not all his schoolmates are eating unhealthy. Maybe our child does not know how important this is for his health or does not know who to imitate. According to dr Marzena Jeżewska-Zychowicz, an expert of the Bank Ochrony Środowiska Foundation, associated with the Warsaw University of Life Sciences (SGGW) on a daily basis, parents who do not give their children money to shop at a school store, do not act correctly. Our child wants to behave in the same way as his friends who shop in a school store. Forbidding participation in peer behaviors can cause a child to feel different or worse. Therefore, it is not the mere fact of shopping that requires intervention, but what is their object. In school stores, children can buy products other than candy bars, chips and chocolates. The chance for a health-friendly choice is greater if the child knows why these foods are bad for their health.

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