Nutrition · Parenting

School and nutrition

Preschoolers eating snack.When it’s time for your child to start school, a parent has a lot to think about. Ensuring that they continue to receive healthy food at school is very important, but can be a challenge. This is a guest post by Madison Walsh who is a Masters of Public Health, Nutrition and Dietetics candidate working with Michael Lacey RD.

Packing a Lunch

Packing your child a healthy lunch will help to make sure they get enough nutrients to support their growth and learning.

It is important to involve your child when packing their lunch by allowing them to choose healthy foods that they enjoy.

If you pack a food that they do not like, your child will probably not eat it at school. This can cause your child being hungry at school, making it difficult to concentrate and learn

School Boards agree with healthy foods for lunch and do not support the use of unhealthy foods. .

Tips on How to Pack a Lunch

  • Keep cold food cold by using an insulated lunch box with an ice pack.
  • Keep hot foods hot by using a thermos. Heat the thermos first by filling it with boiling water. Then dump out the water and fill it with food!
  • Use packaging or containers that your child can open with ease.
  • Include at least three food groups for a balanced lunch.
  • Include healthy snacks for them to eat throughout the day. Fresh fruit and vegetables are a great choice.
  • Always pack a water bottle that they can refill to keep them hydrated.
  • Label all food containers with your child’s name.

Purchasing Lunches/School Lunch Programs 

Preschoolers eating snack.The School Food and Beverage Policy encourages the sale of healthy food, and does not allow the sale of unhealthy foods with high levels of salt, sugar, and/or fat. This helps ensure that the foods being offered to your child are nutritious, however it does not guarantee it. If you chose not to pack a lunch, make sure you read the school’s lunch menu and discuss with your child which foods are good choices.

Allergies

There is a Law in place to protect children with food allergies. School boards must create rules regarding foods that are not allowed to be bought and sold in schools. However, each school board may have slightly different rules. Make sure to check with your child’s school before packing a lunch. Common food allergens should be avoided.

By following these tips, you will be able to ensure that your child is well-nourished and ready to learn at school!

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