Sunday, October 17, 2010

Prepare healthy meals for their children of school age

If you have school-age children and prepares them packed lunches to school, share this activity with 47% of parents. The challenge we all face is what foods to include in school lunches that are healthy and happy children.

With this in mind, Martha Lopez, chief of nutrition and family matters and Consumer Cooperative Extension University of California provides recommendations and suggestions for packing healthy lunches and appealing for children.

Ideas to facilitate the development of healthy school lunch

* Plan ahead. Make a list of school lunch menus covering a week and make a list to go and buy the necessary ingredients.
* Prepare lunches the night before. If possible, have your children help you prepare. Make sure you are ready to leave everything they can to facilitate packing lunch the next day, such as slicing vegetables, put the cookies in the bag and cool drinks.
* Note you need to keep food at proper temperature. Take a thermos if you are packing food to be kept warm. For food to be kept cold, use a source of artificial ice or freeze the drink and stick with cold food in a bag or insulated lunch box. Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold is essential to prevent children from getting sick from eating food contaminated by harmful bacteria.

Ideas to make their children eat school lunches prepared at home

* Involve children to go buy the ingredients. This helps them to feel a connection to carry lunch to school and helps them recognize the food they buy in the store that are now part of your lunch.
* Include healthy foods that children enjoy. The goal is that children will eat lunch prepared at home. Make sure to include foods are fresh, are nutritious and have a good presentation.
* The variety keeps the interest. Help your children do not get bored eating "the same thing." In addition to sandwiches, use pita bread, crackers and something to spread on them, slices of beef or chicken, cheese, meats, vegetables and a sauce for soaking.
* Consider the age to determine the portion. Young children eat small amounts. Include healthy snacks in small packages.
* Include some fun in the school lunch. This can be something as simple as a nice note from mom or dad, or a sandwich cut with a cookie cutter to give a different form. It may also include a food that has added to artificial food coloring.

Healthy foods can be included in school lunches for their children:

low-fat milk, whole-fruit prepared without fat popcorn

low-fat fruit yogurt with chunks of whole wheat bread

low-fat cheese with dried fruit pita bread, muffins (muffins)

cheese sticks (string cheese) 100% fruit juice (4 to 8 ounces)

breads (muffins) low fat ricotta mixture of dried fruits and nuts

pretzels peanut butter graham crackers

tuna salad, corn muffins egg salad

jelly or low-sugar jam chicken salad rice cakes (rice cakes)

any vegetable into pieces applesauce vegetable soup, packed in a thermos

Ask your children to always bring home what you do not eat your lunch. So you can see how much you actually eat and what foods they enjoy most.

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