Nutrition & The Body
A school lunch box can potentially make up to 30-50% of our child’s daily food intake.
Effects of poor nutrition, especially with children, go beyond weight gain. A child who eats too much fat, sugar, sodium or processed food and too few vitamins and minerals is likely to develop a higher risk over time for several chronic health problems.
Proper nutrition is also tied to better academic performance, so kids who eat unhealthy lunches are more likely to score worse on tests and have a harder time with schoolwork. Lower IQ scores, memory difficulties, fine motor and language skills into early adulthood and beyond are all associated with lack of essential vitamins and nutrients.
A homemade lunch will keep your kids away from junk food temptations & ensure easy-access to healthier options that they will learn to love.
Better for their body & your budget
When you pack a lunch, you control the ingredients and choose items based on your budget and preference. In some cases, packing a lunch is not only healthier, but less expensive. For approximately the same cost as five days of school lunch purchases, you can buy enough ingredients to pack a healthy lunch each day, with the added peace of mind that your child has a wholesome and nutritious meal to eat.
80-90% of the immune system is located in the GUT
The body’s microbiome is made up of trillions of good bacteria that digest food, produce vitamins and protect the body from germs and disease. But when kids consume too much sugar, it can alter the balance between good and bad bacteria and weaken their immune systems.
One of the most common effects sugar can have on children are cold-like symptoms: chronic runny noses, excessive mucus, cough, allergies and symptoms of sinus infections. Eliminating sugars can drastically help improve these common symptoms.
Children who are “picky eaters” are most likely loading up on too much sugar, causing stomachaches and poor appetites. Crowd out high sugar foods with healthier options and soon their bodies will crave the real nutrients they need.
Approximately 80% of packaged foods contain added artificial sweeteners.
Foods to AVOID
- Packaged fruit juice & sugary drinks
- Flavored milk & excessive dairy
- High sugar granola bars & processed snack packs
- High fructose corn syrup
- Packaged dried fruit & desserts
- Heavy pasta sauces & dressings
Foods to CHOOSE
- Fresh fruits & veggies
- Lean proteins
- Healthy fats
- Whole grains & carbs
- Low glycemic options
SWAP THIS FOR THAT!
Instead of flavored yogurt
Try plain Greek yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in (you could also add local honey for a sweeter taste & natural immune booster).
Instead of canned fruit
Try chopping up the fresh stuff; a cup of fresh peaches has 13g of sugar, and 1 cup of canned peaches has 33g of sugar.
Instead of sweetened salad dressings & sandwich spreads
Try making your own balsamic vinaigrette or light ranch, choosing mustard, homemade guacamole or hummus vs mayonnaise.
Instead of sodas, juices & dairy
Try adding fruits & veggies like berries, lemon, ginger & cucumber to water for extra flavor.
Instead of lunchables or highly processed meats
Try getting your meat straight from the deli or pack some leftover proteins from dinner the night before.