Children’s Nutrition

Mom and Dad, Thanks for helping me to be strong and healthy.

With school starting back soon, everywhere you turn you see back to school things. One thing we rarely pay attention to is lunches. School lunches weren’t the best thing, when I was growing up, so I often packed my lunch.

At the end of last year, President Obama and First Lady signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Act. According to the White House Press Release:

“The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 authorizes funding for federal school meal and child nutrition programs and increases access to healthy food for low-income children. The bill that reauthorizes these program is often referred to by shorthand as the child nutrition re-authorization bill. This particular bill reauthorizes child nutrition programs for five years and includes $4.5 billion in new funding for these programs over 10 years.”

While nutrition is taken care of, if your child eats at school, packing a lunch is another story. When I opened the weekly sales paper, the first things I saw this week were Lunchables. They are quick and convenient, but some of them are loaded with sodium and fat, and they have little dietary fiber.  When parents pay attention to the nutrition facts, their kids can feel better, get healthier, and live longer.

Growing up, before we took standardized test, I remember them telling us over and over again to eat breakfast and get our day started right. This still applies to our kids today. Another important factor when packing your child’s lunch is to remember to include an ice pack. According to cnn.com:

“When you’re packing your kid’s lunchbox in the morning, the ice pack is just as important as the fruit and the sandwich. And new research finds you might need more than one to keep your little one healthy. Looking at the lunches of preschool age children, Texas researchers found that 98% of the time the food was not as cold or as hot as it should be for safe eating, even if packed in an insulated lunch box or stored in a hot thermos. This means your child may be more likely to come home with a stomach ache.”

None of us want our kids to come home with a tummy ache, over something that could have been prevented. My mother was a thermal stickler. I hated carrying them because they were big and bulky; I could never put it in my backpack, but now I appreciate her thinking about my health.

Nutrition is a daily thing that parents have to pay attention to. From breakfast, to lunch, to afternoon snacks, and finally dinner, this is important to your child’s health. “According to government data, almost 32 percent of children 6 to 19 years of age are overweight or obese; the number of obese children in this age range has trebled in the last few decades.” Growing up as an obese child is hard, from being made fun of, to not being able to wear the same clothes that your friends wore. I hated it, and I know now that I will pay very close attention to my children’s nutrition. The only thing that saved me, was that I was an active child. I’m still fighting today to remove myself out of the obese BMI level.

So remember these things when packing your child’s lunch. If you have a picky eater, check out the Picky Eater article reposted from mayo clinic about tips to help your picky eater.

Sources: CNNUSDAAOL News

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