2012-08-12 09:56:01 by Public Relations staff, as posted on the inside.akronchildrens.org blog.
Although breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, lunch is also an essential time for kids to refuel, stay focused and get the energy they need for the rest of the school day.
“One of the biggest challenges for parents is to pack a healthy lunch that won’t spoil, be traded or end up in the trash,” said Sally Phillips, MS, RD/LD, CDE, a registered dietitian at Akron Children’s Hospital.
The key is to have realistic expectations about what your child will eat, while providing balanced nutrition that includes a variety of food groups.
A typical lunch should include a low-fat dairy product, a protein source, such as lean meat, eggs, tuna or peanut butter, and a vegetable, fruit and grain, such as whole grain bread or crackers.
Treats are also important for kids, who will likely crave them or get them somewhere else. Offer healthier options such as an oatmeal cookie, pudding, trail mix or a low-fat granola bar, instead of sugary snacks that offer no nutritional value.
As far as beverages, Phillips’ No. 1 choice is milk because kids need calcium for growing bones. Avoid high-calorie, high-sugar drinks and sodas and save sports drinks for practice and games. Water or a 4 to 6 ounce serving of 100 percent fruit juice are OK, but milk is still the best choice.
Phillips also offers these 12 tips for packing a healthy lunch that kids will eat:
(8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.)
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