National School Lunch Week: Making Good Choices
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National School Lunch Week: Making Good Choices

Posted on Monday, October 14th, 2013 at 8:00 am
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School LunchIts official, National School Lunch Week has arrived and we’ll be celebrating it October 14 through 18th. Now it is true that some school lunch programs don’t provide the healthiest options, but we’re here to give some advice to you so you can impart it upon your children in regards to picking the best school lunch. Not only does lunch provide the energy your children need to finish up their day at school, but it should be providing one-third of your child’s daily intake for calories, vitamins and minerals. To make the best possible choice at lunchtime we thought it’d be helpful to provide some easy and helpful tips.

Tip #1: Avoid Fried Foods

Despite school lunch programs offering healthy food options there are plenty of unhealthy ones too. Instead of loading up on fried foods encourage your child to load up on fruits, veggies, lean meats, whole wheat breads, and whole grains. In fact, eating fried foods can leave your child feeling tired and sluggish for the rest of the day which will definitely hinder their learning.

Tip #2: Skip the Soda

That’s right, skip the soda. As much as your child will hate to hear this soda is not doing anything for them nutritionally. Studies have shown that the daily consumption of soda has been linked to a higher risk for metabolic syndromes that put individuals at a higher risk for heart disease. Furthermore soda has strong links to obesity and weight gain. Instead of guzzling down a can of soda your children should be choosing water or milk (non-fat preferably) to drink.

Tip #3: Snack Healthy

Even if your child does choose to eat some not-so-great foods for lunch that doesn’t mean they can’t get nutrition elsewhere. Try packing healthy snacks like fruits and veggies to help counteract bad lunchtime choices. If you want some more healthy snack inspiration check out our post “Healthy Back to School Snacks”.

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.