The following is an archived post
We always hear that eating breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that skipping breakfast can prevent all of us from reaching the day’s full potential.
But what about lunch?
For kids, lunch period is always something to look forward to. It’s a nice break from class and a time to hang out with friends.
But the main point of the lunch period is to eat lunch! This is very important because it’s the opportunity to refuel for the afternoon, which is usually the longer part of an already long day.
Eating lunch will:
-Keep kids’ minds sharp. It will aid concentration and focus during the afternoon.
-Help kids to feel good and provide energy.
-Provide fuel for after-school activities like sports, play practice and clubs.
Of course, eating any old lunch just won’t do. A child’s lunch should include:
-Fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals. The more colorful, the better!
-Whole grains like whole wheat bread for a sandwich or barley in soup.
-Protein—whether it’s lean meat (like ham or chicken), fish or beans.
-Low-fat milk, yogurt, or cheese for calcium. There are other good sources of calcium like greens and beans, too!
Lunch is also great time to try new things in a school dining hall and can be a platform for experimentation. Variety really is key in a healthy and balanced diet. Encouragement of healthy eating WHILE socializing is important. We also need to help troubleshoot lunch scheduling issues; for example, if a child’s lunch period is early and he or she doesn’t have much of an appetite, it’s a good idea to eat something small and have a snack later.