"Already out of lunch ideas after the first weeks of school? Dietitians have some practical tips to help your kids increase their vegetable and fruit and milk product intake which are two problems areas for many school-age boys and girls,? says Mary Sue Waisman, registered dietitian.
Try one or more of these tips to keep lunches nutritious, delicious and fun:
• Keep supplies handy to make packing lunches easier.
• Work with your family to make a list of appealing healthy lunch options and keep it on the fridge so it's always handy. Make sure there are at least a few favourites on the list for each family member.
• Invite your child into the kitchen to become the lunch-making chef!
According to the Canadian Community Health Survey, 59% of Canadian children and adolescents reported consuming less than 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. In addition, 61% of boys and 83% of girls aged 10 to 16 did not get the recommended 3 to 4 servings of milk and alternatives. As a result, your child could be missing out on key nutrients to help them grow well and do their best in school.
In addition to pens, pencils and other supplies, plan to keep a good supply of healthy foods on hand to help your child be successful in school. Dietitians of Canada (DC) offers a variety of tools and resources that help you make the most of your meal preparation time.
• The section Healthy Lunches to Go (http://dietitians.ca/public/content/resource_centre/feature_groups_topics.asp#eatwell) dedicated to lunchtime ideas offering nutrition information, tips and recipe ideas as well as how to overcome common roadblocks to meal planning.
• Healthy and tasty recipes from our cookbooks such as "Simply Great Food" (http://www.dietitians.ca/public/content/eat_well_live_well/english/cookbooks/simplygreatfood.asp)
• A tool to help plan your meals for the week called Let’s Make a Meal (http://www.dietitians.ca/public/content/eat_well_live_well/english/menuplanner/Overview.asp)
• The Virtual Grocery Store (http://www.dietitians.ca/public/content/eat_well_live_well/english/vgs/index.asp) will help you understand how to read nutrition labels and make healthier choices.
Dietitians are uniquely trained to evaluate and apply the science of nutrition, and can assist you in planning nutritionally balanced lunches that will keep your kids asking for more.
Dietitians of Canada (DC) represents almost 6,000 dietitians across Canada and is committed to promoting the health and well-being of consumers through food and nutrition. For trusted information on nutrition and healthy eating and to register to receive DC’s regular nutrition updates, visit Dietitians of Canada award-winning website at www.dietitians.ca.