Children are like young saplings, full of potential and promise for the future. Just like a sapling needs proper nutrients and care to grow into a strong and healthy tree, children also need proper nutrition to grow into strong and healthy adults.
As parents, caregivers, and educators, it is our responsibility to provide children with the nourishment they need to thrive. By encouraging healthy eating habits and providing balanced meals, we can help children develop a love and appreciation for nutritious foods that will serve them well throughout their lives.
It is important for kids to have a balanced lunch for several reasons:
In a world where processed foods and sugary snacks abound, it can be challenging to make healthy choices. But when we take the time to prepare and provide wholesome, nourishing meals for our children, we are giving them the gift of health and vitality.
If we can provide our children with a balanced lunch, it can help them to stay health, grow, develop and establish healthy eating habits that can last a lifetime.
However, its not easy to know what a good balance is, so Learn Q have created our FREE Checklist for School Lunches Poster. Simply click here to download, and you are on the way to healthier, happier, kids.
And while you’re at it, here are some examples of a healthy and balanced lunch that includes each of the five food groups and no kid can resist:
To download a .pdf of this blog, please click here
In recent years, schools have had to follow regulations that ensure that children are given access to healthy meals. Therefore, the school menu has changed and that means that children are given the option of eating more fruit and vegetables. Each meal they have has to contain vegetables while they are also given the option of fruit while refined carbohydrates are also removed from the school menu. In addition to this, items that contain pastry are also limited on the school menu.
Schools do not have to provide milk but they for those children who regularly attend pre-school and are under the age of 5 are eligible for free milk as part of the Nursery Milk Scheme. Milk was once offered to all children in school but this changed and now it is only offered to those of nursery age and under the age of five.
The school food standards dictate how schools should be serving food to children. As a result, they make sure that every meal is accompanied by one portion of vegetables or salad. In addition to this, they are offered three different fruits and vegetables each week too. Furthermore, the sale of refined carbohydrates is reduced and children are also encouraged to consume more water. Schools will also limit access to foods that are high in sugar and foods that have been fried.
A packed lunch has to consist of healthy options where possible. Therefore, parents should ensure that they do not give children snacks such as cakes, biscuits and chocolate bars. Furthermore, they should avoid fatty foods such as certain crisps while sandwiches should not be filled with processed foods where possible. Packed lunches should have healthy snacks such as fruit and cereal bars that are low in sugar.
As schools are attempting to teach children and parents about how to lead a healthy lifestyle, they are recommending that children should not be given sweet or sugary drinks as part of their daily drink. Therefore, they are encouraging children to drink more water or natural drinks while avoiding those that are considered bad for their health. Furthermore, some schools are saying that children can only drink water during snack times.
Regulations are now in place that determine the kinds of foods that schools should provide children. The idea behind this is that school is a place that ensures children can have a healthy meal. Therefore, they are encouraged to serve children portions of vegetables and fruit on a daily basis as well as the right carbohydrates such as wheat and such instead of refined carbohydrates. The meals should also contain the right calories and fat content to ensure that it is safe and healthy.
Schools have to follow the food standards as this ensures that every school lunch is nutritious and healthy. As a result, schools have to make sure that these meals consist of fresh vegetables or salad. They also have to ensure that children have access to three portions of fruit and vegetables each week while they will also limit fried food and sugary foods as part of the drive to encourage healthy eating.
Every school will have its own policy when it comes to school packed lunches but they will attempt to encourage parents to give their children healthy foods. Therefore, they are told that they should avoid snacks that are considered bad for children such as chocolate, sweets and biscuits as well as sugary drinks. They are also told to avoid other snacks such as pastries and cakes as these are also bad for their health. These are not set in stone although they are general rules
Free milk was initially abolished from secondary schools in 1968 and then, in the early 1970s it was abolished for children over the age of 7. However, in 1977, schools could apply for funding to pay for milk. Then in 1978, free milk became available for those who were aged between 7 and 12 and came from low income families. Finally, in 1995, further cuts were brought in and that meant that school milk was cut back.
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