One of the biggest challenges for parents is being able to find healthy meals for kids that meet all of their requirements. The options are vast, and they often try a variety of different recipes to see what fits in their budget. Choosing the most nutritious meals can be challenging for kids, but it doesn’t have to be if you know what to look for.
Check with your local school to see what the nutrition guidelines are for your child’s age group. Since so many schools have more than one grade level, you should also make sure that the meals for kids are healthy.
Many school lunch programs offer nutritional guidelines for kids who eat the “pedestrian” menu. If your kid eats lunch at school, you’ll need to make sure that the school is part of the program.
Find out if the school lunch program is part of a network of schools that provide healthy meals. If it is, then you should check out the network websites to make sure that the school is actually doing something good.
Some programs might only offer a few kinds of snacks or treats, and they won’t offer the right foods for your child. Instead of asking them to munch on the wrong kinds of foods, you can call the school directly to find out what kinds of foods are offered.
Ask your child what he or she would like to eat at school. Some schools will have a snack maker that you can use at school, or you can bring a bag of things your child likes to eat. These may be healthy snacks that you can purchase in bulk.
Choose fruits and vegetables over high-fiber cereals and low-fat cheese and cookies. Kids don’t like sugar and fat, and the best meals for kids are packed with fiber and nutrients.
When kids do eat a meal, it’s important to feed them good foods and to make sure that their food isn’t “loaded” with snacks. Getting them out of the house will help them feel less guilty, and help them develop healthy eating habits.
Check to make sure that the school board has a policy against the sale of sugary drinks. It’s important that your child doesn’t feel pressured to drink sodas or other fattening drinks when they’re hungry.
Make sure that the school offers food that is good for your child’s nutritional needs. There are a lot of snacks that might appeal to kids, but they will not help them gain a lot of good nutrition.
Healthy snacks can include fruit, nuts, and other natural foods that you might not think your child will like. When you set out healthy snacks, make sure that they have plenty of protein and fiber so that your child gets all of the nutrients they need.
If your child has special dietary needs, you should talk to the school to find out what kinds of foods are allowed. Once your child begins to eat a healthy meal, you can encourage him or her to eat lots of other healthy snacks throughout the day.