healthy school lunch ideas

We are all busy. Working  and  taking kids to all their activities. We are often times tired. and don’t feel like cutting and chopping and preparing for our meals. But  we have to remember  to take time for things that are important. Our health is the most important thing we can have.  Nothing else will matter if you are diagnosed with a disease and have to spend time in the hospital or go for chemo. We need to start our children off right. We need to help them make healthy choices. Children will navigate towards healthy food, when it has become a habit.

Diseases take years to develop. Their has been research showing that children as young as age 9 and 11 are showing signs of heart disease. Research has also shown that 1 in 3 children born after 2005 are going to be diagnosed with diabetes in their life time. This can all be prevented.

Children are consuming large amounts of sugar. Not only does that sugar cause weight gain that leads to diabetes. It also feeds cancer cells, and creates an imbalance in our gut. This can lead to what we call, leaky gut.

What is leaky gut? It is what happens when we consume processed food on a regular basis. It can also be created by eating foods we are sensitive to. What is created, is inflammation. This inflammation leads to gaps in the intestinal wall. These gaps allow undigested food, toxins, and other chemicals into the blood stream. When this happens it creates an immune response in the body, creating histamine. This leads to allergies, and most often asthma.

We need to consume at least 10 fruits and vegetables a day to be healthy.

I worked in the school system for over 17 years. I saw first hand what children were consuming in the lunches on a regular basis.

The ones that ate the most processed foods had the most difficult time focusing and staying alert in class. I saw over half the children in school with weight issues, especially girls in grades 6 to 8. These children on average are consuming over 34 tsps of sugar a day. The recommendations for adults and young children is a maximum  of only 5-9 tsps a day.

We need to educate our children on the importance of healthy eating. But most importantly we the parents need to set the example.

I love smoothies for breakfast. A great child friendly breakfast is frozen berries with a banana and chocolate almond or soy milk, with a scoop of chocolate protein powder, and throw in a tbsp ground flax and chia seeds for extra fiber and healthy fats. Sneak in some spinach or kale, and honestly they will not taste it.

Take an hour on the weekend to chop up vegetables, and put in bags. Make a fruit salad. I cut up pineapple, dragon fruit, papaya, and mango. I have enough fruit for a family of four for the entire week.

We loved celery with almond butter and raisins. We called it men on a boat.

Make soup. One of our favs and quickest is minestrone. Look for my recipe under soups  in recipe section. But soups in general are easy and healthy. Start with broth and add lots of veggies and voila!! You have a nutritious meal. Try pureeing veggies with coconut milk for a healthy cream soup with added healthy fats, and lactose free.

Fill whole wheat wraps or gluten free wraps, or use lettuce and add tuna or  wild salmon with vegan, or natural mayo. Add lettuce or spinach. Make salad and try adding canned peaches or mandarin oranges and goats feta with raspberry dressing. Add left over chicken.  For extra omega 3 add hemp hearts, or ground flax or chia seeds.

Left overs from supper are great. Spaghetti, veg lasagna etc.  But  don’t heat up in plastic. Heat in glass and put in a stainless thermos. Buy a stainless thermos to keep food warm. They are available at most stores.

Avoid sending fruit drinks and Kool-aid Jammers. Especially drinks like Sunny D which contains tartrazine, this is a colouring which is linked to ADHD and a possible carcinogenic. There are many food colourings linked to behavioural issues in children.  Send water with lemons, or sliced oranges, mixed frozen berries all make a nice change. It gives the water flavour, and adds important antioxidants, but with no added sugar or artifical colours.

We cannot get enough nutrients from our food, especially children. Doctors will tell you that if you have a picky eater don’t worry they won’t starve to death. That is not true. A child needs a lot of nutrients, they are growing quickly and need the nutrients for growing bones, and teeth and organs. Feed them well and eliminate as much processed food as possible and make sure they take a good quality multi vitamin. I have a company that I trust, that have great tasting chewables for kids, with great tasting Omega 3 fish oil as well. Don’t just guess they are getting everything they need, be sure.!!

This is a link to check out our children’s multi vitamin and fish oil. These are pharmaceutical grade. GMP certification.

https://www.usana.com/s/i42fQ2

 

 

 

 

 

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Linda Murphy

Linda Murphy

Linda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She teaches her clients easy ways to incorporate an anti-inflammatory diet in a busy lifestyle. She is an avid cook and loves to teach her clients easy and healthy ways to prepare everyday meals.
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