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What’s For Lunch? By Our August Student Pharmacist, Ann Kuttothara, Who is Now Hungry!

During this time of year, everyone adjusts to a different schedule as students return to school. One change in the morning schedule for parents may be the additional task of preparing lunch for children. This meal helps students recharge during the school day and provides energy for the rest of the afternoon. Kids can then concentrate on classes and after school activities once they have had a tasty lunch. Sometimes lunch may be the first meal of the day for children who tend to skip breakfast–so it is important to provide nutritious food that will energize kids!

TIPS:

-Get children involved in the process of packing lunch. They will be more likely to choose foods they like and eat their lunch!

-If weeknights are hectic, prepare lunch for the week during the weekend.

-Avoid pre-packaged lunches that are loaded with unhealthy ingredients.

-Hydration-include water!

-Don’t forget ice packs to keep food cool or a thermos for hot food.

-Inform the school about any food allergies.

Some days there just may not be time to pack lunch or your kids may want to buy lunch. So discuss other options, such as buying lunch from the cafeteria twice a week and packing lunch the remainder of the week. Use this opportunity to discuss the importance of moderation in choosing a variety of foods. Review the USDA’s recommendations of different food groups to include in each meal using the choosemyplate.gov website. Chat about how to choose delicious, healthy food such as fruits or vegetables often instead of occasional treats like pizza. Teach healthy habits for life!

Search online for new lunch recipes! Below are links to recipes and snack tips available from the US Department of Agriculture.

Click on the picture of the Mediterranean Quinoa Salad to get the recipe. You will need to scroll down to the second page of the article for ingredients and preparation. You can also click on the “Kid-friendly Veggies and Fruits” tip page to make it larger and print.

REFERENCES:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

http://kidshealth.org/kid/grow/school_stuff/school_lunches.html#

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/healthy-living/nutrition/pages/Childhood-Nutrition.aspx?nfstatus=401&nftoken=00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000&nfstatusdescription=ERROR%3a+No+local+token

http://www.teamnutrition.usda.gov/resources/r4hk_homes.html

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/kids/ParentsEducators.html

To get the recipe for how to make this, click on the picture.

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