According to a recent study, almost 100% of parents know that it’s important for kids to establish healthy eating habits when they’re young so that they eat healthy later in life. Yet, only about 20% of parents consider their kids’ diets to be “very healthy.”
If you suspect your child might not be adopting the best dietary habits, one way you can change that is by considering which lunch foods you’re giving them access to at school. Kids should be eating tasty sandwiches made with whole-grain bread and plenty of fruits and vegetables for lunch, not processed foods that are filled with calories, fat, and added sugars.
You simply can’t overstate the importance of providing school kids with healthy lunch foods. Check out some of the benefits that kids will get to enjoy when they eat things that are healthy for lunch at school every day.
Ensures Kids Get the Necessary Nutrients
As a parent, it’s important for you to make sure that your child is getting the necessary nutrients in their diet each day. It’s going to be difficult to do this if you aren’t taking advantage of lunchtime by sending your kids to school with healthy lunch foods.
These lunch foods should set your child up with a good blend of all the necessary nutrients. This includes:
You might serve lots of foods at home that contain these nutrients. But if your child isn’t eating healthy at school, it’s going to be a missed opportunity. They might still have nutrient deficiencies in some areas and struggle to maintain what would be considered a healthy diet.
Reduces the Risks Associated With Childhood Obesity
Obesity has become a major problem for every age group in this country. It affects almost 100 million American adults as of right now, and that number is growing all the time.
It has also started taking a huge toll on the younger population. There are about 14 million children and teenagers living with obesity at this time.
Unhealthy lunch foods aren’t solely to blame for this issue. Many of the kids struggling with childhood obesity fail to eat healthy during most of their meals, not just the ones they eat at school.
But providing a child with healthy lunch foods at school will guarantee that at least one of the meals they eat each day is healthy. It’ll cut down on the chances of them dealing with childhood obesity and the many health risks that come along with it.
Helps Kids Focus Better on Their Schoolwork
In this day and age, it’s already hard enough for most kids to sit down and focus on their work when they’re at school. Kids—and people of all ages really—have shorter attention spans than in past years. This is due in large part to the rapid evolution of technology.
Lunch foods that are jampacked with added sugars and other things that aren’t good for kids can make this problem even worse than it already is. When kids load up on sugars at lunch, they’ll sometimes have a tough time sitting still and paying attention in class. They’ll also crash land once the sugar supply in their body runs out.
Lunch foods that are good for the brain are a much better option for these kids. School lunch delivery services often include things like apples, nuts, greens, and more in their meals since they’ve been shown to help kids in school.
Pushes Kids to Try Foods They Might Not Eat Otherwise
There are some kids who are picky eaters and aren’t going to try new foods no matter what you do. Depending on who you believe, anywhere from 5% to 25% of kids are considered picky eaters these days.
But there are also a lot of kids who don’t ever get around to trying out certain kinds of foods simply because those foods have never been put in front of them. When they think, “What should I eat for lunch?“, some types of foods don’t even enter their minds since they haven’t been exposed to them.
Healthy American school lunches have started to change that a little. Many schools now provide students with meals that they might not be given otherwise. This has turned at least some of these students into fans of healthy foods that they never had before.
By giving your own child healthier lunches, you’ll push them to try things that they’re not eating elsewhere. You could very well stumble upon foods that your child loves by taking this approach to giving them lunch food.
Establishes Healthy Eating Patterns That Will Last a Lifetime
Most kids aren’t going to spend their entire childhoods eating junk food and other unhealthy things and then magically wake up one day when they’re adults and start eating healthy. They’re going to continue to eat the same foods they’ve conditioned their bodies to eat.
You don’t want to put your child on this path, do you? You can help them steer clear of finding themselves stuck in this pattern one day by incorporating more healthy school cafeteria food options into their lives.
By teaching kids to eat right, you’ll improve their health now. But to a larger degree, you’ll also improve their health in the future and provide them with the eating patterns they’ll need to stay healthy for many years to come.
Making Sure Kids Eat Healthy Lunch Foods in School
For a long time, most parents and school administrators didn’t give much thought to which lunch foods were served to school kids. Kids routinely chowed down on things like hamburgers, pizza, and other foods that weren’t all that healthy.
Kids can still eat some of those things today. But kids eating lunch at school are also given the option to eat healthy meals. It has allowed many of them to unlock the benefits that we’ve listed here.
Are you a mom worried about your child’s health? Read the other articles on our blog for more tips on helping your child lead a healthier lifestyle.