For parents, purchasing a new home near a fantastic school district is only half the battle. With childhood obesity still a HOT topic, it is important that once the school bell rings, parents have the opportunity to continue instilling healthy habits even when their children are in the cafeteria.
While many school systems have started offering healthy lunch options, for parents with picky eaters or children that like to carry a cool lunchbox, school lunchtime can be a bit trickier. Gerstad Builders shares some tips for making this school year the healthiest yet!
- Buy Low-Sodium: Sandwiches are a delicious, easy-to-pack lunch item, but they can also pack a lot of sodium. Off the bat, parents can make a sandwich healthier by purchasing low-sodium sandwich meat. Complete the sandwich with light mayonnaise, tomato and cheese on whole-wheat bread and you have a healthy option to the everyday sandwich.
- Forget the Chips: Just because sandwiches and chips “go together”, doesn’t mean chips are the only side option available. In addition to fruit, string cheese or carrots and celery with hummus are a delicious alternative to a bag of chips. If your chips are a must for your child, try whole-grain chips or pretzels (unsalted or low-sodium) to dip in the hummus.
- Satisfy the Sweet Tooth: Sweets are ok if done in moderation. From fat-free pudding to chocolate kisses (recommended serving of 4), eating healthy doesn’t mean you can’t satisfy your child’s sweet tooth.
- Spice Up Fruit Cups: Fruit is the perfect side to any lunch item. Instead of packing a cup of fruit or a bag of orange slices, why not spice it up a little bit with fruit kabobs? Slide slices of pineapples, strawberries and oranges onto a kabob and your child won’t want to trade their fruit for a Little Debbie.
- Create your Own Trail Mix: Let your children have a say in what they eat by letting them combine a variety of nuts, dark-chocolate chips and dried fruit to create their own trail mix. It is a fun memory to make and will also make them “proud” to eat this healthy snack.
- Don’t Forget H2O: Just as it is important for adults to drink eight glasses of water a day, it is important that children drink six to eight cups of water each day.
Not only will a healthy lunch help your child eat fewer calories, but it will also give them the energy they need to make it through each school day.
As a McHenry County home builder, Gerstad Builders is dedicated to not only building families the home of their dreams, but also a lifestyle that promotes a healthier future. For more information on purchase a new home in McHenry County, visit the Gerstad Builders website today.