Healthy Lunches Your Kids Will Love
Written by and
Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
Publisher: Random House Canada
ISBN: 978-0-307-35897-4 (0-307-35897-6)
Pub Date: August 2, 2011
Add this item to your cart
Good Food to Go is the ultimate guide to packing healthy lunch boxes with food that kids will enjoy and parents can feel good about. Back-to-school means back-to-lunch-boxes, and the daily quandary of what to put in them. With this new book, two working moms - one a teacher, one a pediatrician - offer creative ideas for balanced lunches and nutritious snacks, as well as up-to-date health tips that will make packing lunch a joy and not a chore. Given that children consume approximately one third of their daily calories at school, what goes into kids' lunch boxes is vital to their well-being. Yet it still needs to be hot enough, cold enough or crisp enough to withstand a morning in the cloakroom. (And with allergies on the rise many schools are now nut-free, eliminating that old standby: peanut butter.) Most important, the lunch needs to be kid-friendly and delicious because after all, the healthiest lunch isn't very healthy if it goes uneaten.
Good Food to Go fuses the how-to's of creating wholesome, homemade lunches with the latest information on food and nutrition. Practical tips will help parents make environmentally conscious food choices and eliminate lunch-box waste to ensure children are eating for a healthier planet. Many of the recipes outline what can be done the night before, while others may be made in bulk and frozen, facilitating easy, last-minute lunches. Handy meal planners help to ensure that kids are eating a healthy variety of nutritious lunches throughout the week.
No matter how beautifully packaged and healthy your child's lunch may be, if it comes home uneaten or, worse yet, winds up in the garbage, all your hard work is wasted. Research tells us that children who are involved in preparing their food are more likely to eat it. Therefore, it's important to get your kids involved from the outset. After all, we know kids won't eat what they don't like, especially if you are not there.
Kids of all ages can take part in preparing and choosing the foods that go into their lunches. Young children can wash vegetables and fruit, help with baking and mix sandwich spreads. With guidance, older children can make sandwiches and cut fruits and vegetables, while high school students can independently pack their own lunches. However, it is important to understand that things don't always go as smoothly as planned. If you are unhappy with the type of lunches that your teen packs, consider getting him to clean up the kitchen after dinner while you start the lunch. Preparing food for someone else is an act of generosity and nurturing. Spend a few extra minutes together packing leftovers and choosing which fruits and snacks to include.
Co-operative meal planning is a wonderful opportunity to teach your children about the importance of healthy eating. Turn to the copy of Canada's Food Guide starting on page 11. Remind your kids of the 4 food groups and explain how each group provides our bodies with a different set of key nutrients. For example, Vegetables and Fruit help us stay healthy by providing us with important vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.
Meat and Alternatives provide us with energy, iron and protein. Energy gives us the power needed to accomplish our daily tasks: working, playing, growing and learning. Protein helps us stay alert and provides our bodies with the tools needed to build and repair body tissue. When Brenda's son, Charlie, was young, he was reluctant to eat chicken sandwiches until she explained that chicken is packed full of protein, the nutrient needed to build strong muscles. To this day, Charlie's favourite lunch is the Chicken Souvlaki Wrap (page 74).
Milk and Alternatives supply us with protein, vitamin D and calcium. Calcium and vitamin D are the nutrients needed to build healthy bones and strong teeth. Building a skeleton without vitamin D and calcium is like building a sandcastle without sand. Finally, Grain Products provide us with carbohydrates and fibre. Carbohydrates give us energy and supply our brain with the fuel it needs to think and learn. Fibre keeps our bowels working regularly and its intake is associated with reduced risk of various diseases including heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
About this Author
BRENDA BRADSHAW has been an elementary school teacher and is co-author of The Baby's Table and The Good Food Book for Families. An avid cook, she is a mother of two.
DR. CHERYL MUTCH is a consultant pediatrician with a keen interest in children's nutrition. The co-author of The Good Food Book for Families, she is the mother of two daughters.
Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!