Like many, my children have issues at school. The 6 year old has trouble sitting still, he wants to participate so much he yells out the answer when it’s not his turn. The 9 year old is a bit quieter and will lose his energy in the afternoon resulting in a loss of focus and attention.
School is back in swing and that means our nations children are eating lunch on their own. I made some simple changes to our lunch boxes: a-septic milk with protein, fat and carbohydrates instead of juice with simple sugars. This energy lasts longer and releases slowly instead of a quick sugar spike with juice. We also make our own snack mix – roasted unsalted almonds, raisins, and a few M&Ms. The kids love it, they eat it all day and get fat, fiber and protein in one.
Other ideas from Kathy’s Mom kitchen:
-Yogurt in tubes can be frozen and put into a lunch box, by the time kids eat it’s thawed but still cold. Another great way to get calcium, protein, fat and they’re a little sweet so kids enjoy.
-Pre-cut celery and carrot sticks then store in your fridge in water. They stay fresh, are convenient on busy mornings, and if you add a dipper like peanut butter or ranch they always get gobbled. The high cellulose fiber content takes longer to digest keeping kids’ bellies busy and happy
-Skip chips! I know you eat that junk on special occasions, but the lunch box is not a special occasion!
-My kids get tired of pb&j. Try ham with a little butter on the bread, the butter is soaked in by lunch and tastes heavenly. The protein in deli meats is 75% lower in fat and triple the protein found in peanut butter. Be sure to check sodium before you buy.
-A quick energy boost is fruit snacks but be sure juice is the first ingredient. Gelatin and gums found in fruit snacks or leathers are fibers that slowly digest.
-Small tangerines are in season; my kids eat 2 or 3 a day. Little apples never spoil; buy both of these cheap in bulk bags.
-Small cheeses like Laughing Cow or Baby Bell, fun for little hands to open and a great source of nutrition.
Our behavior issues have improved and I am proud of my babies. Look in your lunch box and see if you can help our nations’ kids be better too! (Don’t forget your lunch box note – a little “I love you!” from Mom or Dad can go a super long way)