Incorporating healthy eating on a daily basis is not difficult. Most students, because of convenience, usually purchase lunch at school. I have seen first hand the type of junk that are served at many school cafeterias. I have been teaching for twenty-four years at the middle and high school levels. I would not feed the slop at my school to my worst enemy. The stuff is completely devoid of nutritional value. What can a parent do? Many times kids feel very uncool caring lunch to school. I bribe my kids by paying them extra allowance if they eat what I make them for lunch.
Now let’s examine what constitute a healthy brown bag lunch. Sorry, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not my picture of a healthy lunch. Children need to eat a balanced meal for proper brain development. They need to eat : protein, carb, and fruit. I always pack a piece of fruit with a sandwich made out of wholewheat bread, cold cuts , lettuce and tomatoes, sliced carrots, celery sticks. I only purchase cold cuts that are nitrites and nitrates free, and lastly raised without added hormones. Non organic meats are loaded with deadly chemicals that have been proven to cause cancer. All of my fruits are also organic. We live in a society that is more intuned with making a profit instead of putting people’s health as top priority.
A healthy brown bag lunch should also include snacks. I buy organic almonds , organic raisins and dried coconut from the health food store. I mix all three together and put some in a snack bag. VOILA!! You have a very healthy snack which is not laced with a ton of sugar .
How about beverages? How about a Dr.. Pepper, Pepsi, Coke, Sprite? NO! NO! NO!, a thousand times NO!. I buy organic juices for lunch. Sodas are loaded with too much sugar, too much consumption of sugar is known to deplete your body of vital nutrients. It is shameful the many soda machines that are placed in schools. Many of my students come to class with a sugar buzz, some even fall asleep before end of class. I also encourage my children to drink plenty of water. I am not fond of school water fountains, so I buy a polycarbonate water bottle and fill it with filtered water . This bottle is glass-like, non-porous, no plastic or dioxine leaching. The traditional plastic bottle leaks cancer causing chemicals in the water. The bottle can be kept in a locker or a backpack for easy access.
As parents we have a duty to make sure our children are well cared for. Healthy minds and bodies start from the inside.
My daughter graduated with top honors from high school, now my fourteen years old will be a freshman. I will monitor his eating habits just as I did my daughter. He may get some weird looks, but at least he will be in the best of health.