It can be difficult to keep children on a healthy diet when they go to school and their food choices are made without parent supervision. Even if you send a healthy lunch with your child, you don’t know what they are eating and what they aren’t. If your child eats the lunch provided by the school, they are given choices and most children will make the wrong ones. In some cases, you will send a healthy lunch with your child only to discover later that they skipped it and ate the school-provided lunch because it sounded better than what they brought from home. Many schools all across the country, however, are revamping their school lunches to include healthier foods. Read on to learn about the new healthier school lunches as well as tricks to pack a healthy lunch for your child that they will want to eat.
Schools Now Offering Healthier Lunches
It is a slow process to completely rework the school lunch system across the country, but many schools have already begun to make the necessary changes. Some schools participate in Farm to School programs, which utilize locally grown produce in the school lunches. This reduces cost for the schools in many cases, while offering a better supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition, a new federal law, The Healthy and Hunger-Free Kids Act, is set to take full effect in the 2013-2014 school year. There are many facets to this new law, but the most obvious are that all breads will become whole grain instead of white, fruit and vegetable serving sizes will double, and all trans fats will be cut from lunches provided by the school. Many schools have already begun implementing these changes instead of waiting until the required deadline. In addition, schools are now required to give access to parents on the nutritional value of each meal. All of these healthy changes to school lunches were created to help combat the high obesity rate in children in America, and in the process parents won’t have to worry that their children are making terrible food choices at school – those options will no longer be available.
Sending a Healthy Lunch with Your Child
If you prefer to send a lunch to school with your child, because they eat low carb or in another special way that the school-offered lunch doesn’t accommodate, there are ways to ensure that your child will eat the lunch you send. It can be tempting for children to choose the school-offered foods, but not if their homemade lunch is full of foods they love. Some healthy food options don’t taste that great to children, and if these are sent for school lunch, they aren’t likely to eat them. There are, however, many great-tasting healthy food options available. Once you find some healthy foods your child loves, stock up on them for school lunches. In addition, you can make healthy food fun. Instead of sending your child a peanut butter sandwich on low carb bread, you can send them peanut butter in a small cup with gluten free pretzels to dip in it. Finding great healthy snacks or dessert items they love is also important. There are many ways to ensure that your child not only eats the healthy lunch you send, but that they are able to do so without feeling as if they are missing out on something better.
Accommodating Special Diets at School
If your child is on a low carb diet or any other type of diet simply because it’s how your family eats, the school doesn’t accommodate your needs. However, if your child is on a low carb diet or gluten free diet for health reasons, you can contact the school to have them accommodate the needs. If you have a diabetic child or a child with Celiac disease for example, the school will special-order sugar-free or gluten-free foods to serve. If you prefer to have complete control of your child’s food intake, however, you can find many great options for low carb or gluten free foods that you can send from home to ensure your child is eating properly while at school.
Thanks for reading our article! If you decide to send your child’s healthy lunch from home, visit our store at Linda’s Diet Delites to stock up on great low carb or gluten free foods they are sure to love!