So it’s that time again…the excitement is felt by many, while others are not exactly thrilled. Back to school brings so many different feelings and emotions, including getting us to think about school year goals. And today we’re chatting about the benefits of healthy school lunches and sharing why this should be one of your top priorities this school year.
4 Reasons Your Kid Needs A Healthy School Lunch!
- Academic achievement.
Kids attend school for half of their waking hours in most cases and consume a good portion of their calories while there. As seen in this infographic, there’s a direct correlation to kids eating healthy foods and achieving better grades. And while not directly associated with just lunch, this fact sheet from the CDC illustrates the relationship with grades achieved when directly compared with behaviors such as eating breakfast, drinking juice and/or soda, eating vegetables, and more. The bottom line—kids academic abilities can be affected by what they eat. So why not send them something healthy for lunch?
- Enforcing healthy eating habits.
I’m a big believer that parents and teachers are partners in many aspects of shaping and educating their children. Often, when my child does something silly, like get up and start dancing while we’re eating dinner, I’ll ask, “Can you do this at school?” Consistency is key, in my opinion, and if you aim to eat well at home, you should continue that effort with their school lunch. Plus, think about it, if all of us parents work together and send healthy foods, it might become the “cool thing” to have healthy lunches. Hey, a mom can dream, right?!
- Aiming to stay healthy with proper nutrition.
While eating healthfully is not a guarantee of a clean bill of health, it certainly can help provide necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. When combined with physical activity, your diet can help you to reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce your risk of chronic diseases, and promote your overall health. These benefits start from the day that we are born! And on the flip side—with 1 in 5 kids aged 6 to 19 being obese, it makes smarter eating habits even more necessary.
- Optimal athletic performance.
Many kids stay after school for sports and activities or are driven directly there. With this being said, and the fact that nutrition directly affects performance on and off the field, it’s essential that they have well-balanced meals that can fuel them for productivity. I’ve personally been going through this with my 13-year-old daughter who does competitive dance. She will be at the studio for 6 hours, and if I don’t pack her a lunch, she’ll take (her own) money and go to the nearby pizza place and get a slice of pizza and garlic knots—that’s it. I try to explain how her nutrition is going to affect her performance. If kids want to do well in their sports, sometimes having them fully understand the whole piece is helpful. And packing a healthy lunch, whether you or them do it, is also helpful! This one daughter is a work in progress :).
How to Pack a Healthy School Lunch
Whether packing a healthy school lunch is a new or existing goal of yours, we have just the resource for you to make it easy peasy: Real Lunches, Real Easy! This is a series of 4 ebooks, each with 6 weeks of healthy school lunch plans, and within you’ll get color photos to show you exactly what the week ahead looks like as well as recipes, shopping lists, and a program to ensure that your child will go to school with a healthy school lunch that’s easy AND different—no more PB&J’s each day of the week!
Real Lunches, Real Easy! is only available until August 24th, so don’t delay. Get your copies today and set yourself up for an A+ year.