- Gary M. Verigin, DDS, inc. - https://biologicaldentalhealth.com -

Biosis 12: Good Nutrition for Kids…Away from Home

From Biosis 12, September 2006

Good Nutrition for Kids…Away from Home

If you’ve ever been in a convenience store near a high school at lunchtime, you’ve probably seen kids plunking down their money for chips, sodas, snack cakes, candy and other junk. These foods are seldom bought as an added treat to a healthy lunch. Most of the time, they are lunch.

Good nutrition is important for all of us, but especially kids. Their bodies and minds continue to grow all the way through adolescence. Those who eat nutritionally-poor diets are likely at risk for permanent cognitive deficiencies, even if they improve their eating habits later in life. They also pollute their biological terrain, setting the stage for future physical and mental illnesses. Suffice it to say, it’s crucial that we teach our children to eat regularly and well, so they may grow into healthy, productive adults.

Teaching most obviously – and effectively – starts at home. The higher quality of meals you serve your kids – low in sugar, salt and refined, processed carbs – the less likely they’ll develop a taste for sugary junk foods. If you let your children watch TV, watch it with them and take the opportunity to talk about both the commercials and programs, and how they try to create desire for products that aren’t always good for us.

Laying such groundwork early should help make things a bit easier when the kids are school-age and eating lunches away from home on a regular basis.

Before school each day, make sure your kids have something to eat so they’ll have the energy they need through the morning and lessen the desire to overeat at noon or snack on sugary foods that may give a quick energy boost but little nutrition. What’s more, studies have repeatedly shown that children who eat breakfast are less likely to grow obese than those who regularly skip this meal.

But what about lunch? Mornings, when you’re trying to get ready for work and the kids off to school, it can be tempting to just drop a pre-made meal in a bag or a few dollars in each child’s hand to buy lunch. Even so, the little ones often beg for food that’s “fun,” while the older kids want to be sure to have something “cool.” For not only do kids want food that tastes good. They want something that will help them fit in. And while providing this would seem to require a lot of creativity at a time of day when most of us aren’t feeling too creative, it’s not really so daunting a task. With a little planning and nutritional knowledge, you can easily give your kids lunches that are both wholesome and likable.