Mistakes you have been doing while packing kids’ school lunch boxes

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Did you ever think that you might not be giving your children what they need to have in their lunch boxes? Did you ever think that many of us have been unwittingly packing school lunch boxes wrong?

Kids may go back to school next month, which means parents will have to start packing lunch boxes again.

Many of us must be feeling guilty of not giving our children what should be given to them as meals, especially when parents have fussy children. It becomes very difficult to plan foods they actually like eating.

When Avaaz24 spoke to the Dietitian, she said that as known to us most of them can be fussy eaters!

Most of the time, parents pack kids off with sugary snacks and other foods that you know they love, so that they eat something or the other but it’s important to make sure they are getting the essential nutrients that they need.

We should try to avoid giving children food they are unfamiliar with as this may increase the chances of them not eating it.

Some children love repetition, hence parents may think that they have had enough of the cheese sandwich or any other favorite snack after a whole week of it, this is often not the case!

Parents should try a different sandwich filling for each day of the week and repeat this to ensure they still have a bit of variety.

The dietitian explained what parents should actually be packing – she said that  it’s very important to choose immune system-boosting foods in the current situation.

She recommends plenty of fruits and vegetables, calcium-rich products and complex carbohydrates to keep kids feeling full of energy all day long.

After the end of the Pandemic or the rainy and winter season immunity has become the bigger concern this year than ever.

It becomes very essential to pack the right foods that can support not only a child’s growth and cognitive development but also support the immune system.

When packing your child’s lunch think of using ‘whole’ foods as much as possible.

Complex carbohydrates such as whole meal bread, potatoes & wholegrain rice should be seen as the base to any meal as this will supply the bulk of energy to your growing child.

Wholegrain varieties are healthier, containing more fiber which will keep hunger at bay for longer as well as supporting the immune system of the child.

Aim to include at least 2-3 portions of fruit and vegetables in the packed lunch as these are full of immune supporting vitamins such as vitamin C, E, & A.

Dairy shouldn’t be forgotten about, the recommendation is to have 3 servings of calcium-rich foods a day such as 150 ml glass of milk, a small pot of yogurt and a small matchbox sized piece of cheese.

If cow’s milk allergy is a problem non-dairy alternatives can be given however these need to be fortified with calcium and unsweetened, please speak to a healthcare professional for more advice.

Protein is an important part of the diet, (whether you choose to give your child animal or plant-based protein) it’s essential for cell growth and repair and should be eaten 2-3 times a day.”

As you’d probably expect, products that are high in sugar and fat aren’t the best choices.

Try to avoid foods such as biscuits, sweets, chocolate and cakes as this may lead to tooth decay and will be damaging to overall health (health of blood vessels due to blood sugar spike, higher risk of developing obesity and metabolic syndrome).

These sweet treats can be enjoyed occasionally, however, it may be best to offer these in a home environment to moderate intake.

ALSO READ: How important is Vitamin-D?

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