A child’s success in many areas, including school, can be affected by having a healthy school lunch. Benefits to eating healthy should not be taken for granted by parents or school administrators when considering what children are eating for lunch. Packing a healthy school lunch for your child or advocating for healthy school lunches in your child’s school will benefit your child in many ways.
Impact on Weight
Kids Health reports that one in three children is overweight or obese. Since obesity in children is climbing, schools and parents should consider what their children are eating for lunch and how to make sure that they have adequate nutrition. If lunch in school is promoting unhealthy habits and behaviors by having unhealthy choices, children are not learning to eat healthy. This can lead to making unhealthy choices in their future with regard to snacks and meals.
Benefits of Eating Healthy
When a child or an adult eats healthy and maintains a healthy body weight, they have less of a risk for developing chronic health problems such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Eating healthy and regular physical activity can lead to a healthy body weight, which can help to promote a child’s self esteem.
Eating Healthy and Learning
The Action for Health Kids suggests that children who are overweight may be at risk higher absenteeism, which can be linked to lower academic achievement. Being overweight can cause social problems for some children or other health problems, which can lead to absenteeism.
Healthy Lunch Ideas
Make sure that fruits and vegetables are a part of lunch for your child. Low fat or non fat dairy should be selected over regular fat milk and cheese. Make lunch fun by packing a note for your child, cutting up healthy sandwiches into fun shapes or adding flavored milk to the lunch box. Give your child healthy choices and have him put his lunch together if he is old enough so that he feels that he has control over what he is eating.
School Lunch Changes
Lunches offered by schools should promote the health of all children, according to Healthy School Lunches, a physician’s committee for responsible medicine. Some changes that they recommend are to have vegan options, non dairy beverages available for children with allergies that are rich in calcium, and promote programs that educate parents, children and food service personnel about the benefits of healthy eating.