I’m sure you’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but what about lunch and why is it so important for children? What we eat is what our body uses to nourish, build and repair our cells, blood, bones and muscles. The old adage is true; we literally are what we eat. Children need nutrient dense food to keep their bodies and minds working their best during long afternoons at school and to support growth. Research indicates a correlation between diet and academic success. You may not realize that eating is a learned habit for children, it is not intuitive or something they are born with and the eating habits you help establish before the age of 10 will become ingrained in your child for life.
This past year has been all about delegating and finding ways to encourage my kids to take ownership around food. It is very easy for us as moms to do everything for our families. It is human nature to want to nurture our families, but delegation benefits not only us but teaches our kids important life skills.
We’ve created a lunch system in our house to make lunch preparation a breeze for the kids. Together, we brainstormed a chart with healthy food options in 5 categories: Fruit, Vegetable, Whole Grain, Protein and Healthy Treat. The children select an item from each category and lunch is made!
Benefits to this system include:
- Gives your kids some control over what they get to eat yet the choices are all healthy
- Wide range of foods to choose from so they get a range of nutritional benefits
- Allows them to learn proper portion sizes when measuring the food out
- Once familiar with what encompasses a healthy lunch they will be able to utilize outside the home
- Encourages kids to rotate and try new foods
- Empowers them to make healthy choices
The best way to help our children become healthier is to help THEM take charge of their own health. By making healthy choices when and where you can, you’ll start to see positive changes in your family. This information empowers them to make the healthy choices for themselves, a habit that will last a lifetime.
Please leave in the comments section what types of foods your kids like to bring for lunch. Tomorrow we’ll discuss putting this chart to work.