5 ways to keep lunches healthyHouston, TX - 8/30/2013
The new school year is here and that means providing well-balanced lunches for your children, increasing their productivity and energy, and improve their moods.
“Make lunch fun, get the kids involved, be patient and keep trying,” Kristen Van sickel, registered dietician at Houston Methodist Hospital said. “It takes 8-10 exposures to a new food before taste buds adjust. Training our taste buds is just like learning to tie our shoes. We may not like it on the first try, but if we keep trying, eventually we will get it. If your child says no the first time, try again.”
Here are Van sickel’s tips to keep lunches healthy:
· Prepackaged lunches: Some of them have almost 2.5 times the saturated fat and twice the sugar of a full size candy bar. Instead, pack a few slices of turkey, whole wheat crackers and some mozzarella cheese.
· Ditch the sugary beverages: Many parents have made the transition from soda, but they have replaced it with something that has almost as much sugar, like sports drinks and juice boxes. Instead, try sports drinks with half the sugar or a flavored sparkling water.
· Fruit snacks: Most of the time the second ingredient in these treats is sugar or corn syrup. An easy substitute is fresh fruit like blueberries and grapes. They are still finger friendly, sweet and do not require a lot of preparation time in the kitchen.
· Regular potato chips: Make the switch from regular chips to baked chips. A bag of regular classic potato chips has 20 percent more sodium and five times the fat of the baked version. Baked chips will save 40 calories, cut the fat by 60 percent and avoid the MSG found in regular chips.
· Satisfying the sweet tooth: Try not to get your child accustomed to having dessert at every lunch. If they do have to satisfy a sweet tooth, try two or three small pieces of dark chocolate. Regular cookies will cost over 2.5 times the calories, add twice the fat and double the sugar.
To speak with Van sickel, please contact Katie Wooldridge, Houston Methodist Hospital, at 832.667.5849 or firstname.lastname@example.org.