What Will Your Child Eat at School This Year?

September 15, 2010 in Diabetes, Nutrition by Mary Ireland

One study of osteoarthritis in moose emphasized that malnutrition in utero and early life is related to osteoarthritis in later life. While this study was not on humans and it is just one study, it does make me wonder exactly how close the relationship of early diet and later life health is. Frankly, if I had children today, I wouldn't wait around for the results of a conclusive study. I mean really, I haven't read one article ever about the dangers, hazards or side effects of eating healthy, nutritious food.

One side note here about the article, I know that Dr. Grandma had to bite her tongue while she was reading the end of the article about pregnant women taking their vitamins. I can almost hear her voice ringing through the halls, "Eat food, eat real food!" See her blog, Fighting Cancer -- One Plateful at a Time

Before their children go to school, parents have a lot of control over what their children eat. Starting good eating habits very early is important. (See Tips for Getting Kids to Eat Vegetables). Not only for the impact the nutrition or lack of nutrition may have later in their lives, but starting the habits that will ensure health in their teens, twenties, thirties and beyond.

If you start your children eating healthy, nutritious foods now, they will be aware of how bad they feel when they eat junk. They will know how they don't have the energy and stamina they do when they eat real food. Okay, a quick reality check here. I confess that I never had children. But I do think on some level they are aware. Children who learn to eat a variety of healthy foods early will have a good foundation for making choices when they go to school or are in other situations when they have food options.

So, what will your kids eat at school this year? Will they even have a choice of healthy food? Ann Cooper Talks School Lunches is a lively, enlightening, and interesting talk about the state of school lunches today. Warning: Ann Cooper is an intense woman talking passionately about a subject very important to her. If you prefer mild-mannered talks, you probably want to skip this one.

Ideas for School Lunches

One way that you can help to determine what your kids eat is to send their lunch with them. Here are some ideas:

  • Make sandwiches with a good quality whole wheat bread and Dr. Grandma's Almond Butter.
  • Send raw vegetables (carrot sticks, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, cucumbers, zucchini, etc.) with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus.
  • Make Rolled Up Wrap -- Whole Wheat Pinwheels.
  • Use Dr. Grandma's Whole Wheat Muffins Your Way to quickly prepare the kind of muffins your kids will love for lunch or an after school snack.
  • Send a cup or two of Popcorn Delight or use Orville Redenbacher’s 94% Fat Free microwave version.
  • Send a couple of Chicken Teriyaki Drumsticks with some vegetables. (Send this only if your child has the ability to refrigerate the drumsticks).
  • Pack a couple of Donna Kelly's Whole Grain Confetti Zucchini Cakes with your sauce of preference on the side.
  • Send a boiled egg a couple of times a week.
  • Make enough pizza for supper than you can send left over pizza.
  • Send fruit: apples, bananas, tangerines, nectarines, and oranges (see instructions below).
  • Get your child a stainless steel water bottle that can be filled up once the child gets to school. Keeping your child hydrated with water can help avoid the child using a soft drink to quench thirst.
Making oranges easy for work or school lunches.

Making oranges easy for work or school lunches.

Cut the ends off.

Cut the ends off.

Cut about 1/4 inch from end to end.

Cut about 1/4 inch from end to end.

Slice into circles.

Slice into circles.

The little notch makes it easy eating.

The little notch makes it easy eating.

Snack away - Delicious easy and nutritious.

Snack away - Delicious easy and nutritious.