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Parts of a Healthy Lunch

School is out in Arizona, meaning your children are probably eating at home more often now. For parents and guardians that don’t normally pack their children’s school lunch, an entire summer filled with home-cooked meals might be intimidating. Creating a healthy lunch for your children is simpler than you’d think.

Here’s what your child’s lunch can include.

Fat

Yes, fat can be healthy. Experts say fat intake should be around .4 to .5 grams per pound of your target body weight. You can use a body mass index chart to see what your child’s target weight should be. Cheese, dark chocolate, nuts, eggs, and yogurt are all examples of healthy high-fat foods.

Fiber

Fiber is important for your child’s digestive system. Raspberries, blackberries, pears, and whole-wheat pasta are examples of foods with high-amounts of fiber that kids enjoy eating.

Protein

Our bodies do not store much protein, and we need it for our muscles, blood, bones, organs, hair, nails, hormones, and energy level. Kid-friendly foods with high protein include grapefruit, eggs, turkey, and pork loin.

Calcium

The saying “calcium builds strong bones” is not an old wives’ tale, but a scientific fact. Include dairy products such as cheese and milk into your kid’s lunch. If your child is lactose intolerant, calcium is found in many non-dairy products like almonds and carrots.

Carbs

Carbohydrates are the number one source of energy. You can find carbs in various food groups—dairy, fruit, grains, legumes, vegetables, and sugars.

It’s easy to look at this list and be overwhelmed. Remember, your child’s healthy lunch will most likely not include the entire food pyramid. Incorporating as much of these healthy elements as possible is the goal, even if that means meals with only three of what was listed.

Do you have concerns about your child’s health? Speak to a pediatrician at Pediatrix. We’re dedicated to helping you raise healthy, happy kids.

Posted in Blog, Health on June 18th, 2018