Nutrition is particularly important for young children which is why parents need the best ideas for a healthy school lunch. The meals they eat are a vital part of their growth and development. If your families have older children who take a lunch to school or have meals served in their program, as providers you should ask them these questions:
- Are the lunches meeting the nutritional needs of the children?
- Are the children eating the lunches packed for them?
- Are the meals that the older children are receiving at school nutritious and do they offer a variety of choices?
- Pack carrot and zucchini sticks, broccoli “trees,” celery “boats” and pepper rings or sticks that are soft cooked (to prevent choking in children under 4 years of age).
- Pack sprouts, tomato slices and lettuce mixed with red cabbage, spinach and jicama slices to add variety to your child’s lunches.
- Supply good sources of fiber and vitamins A and C such as apples (unpeeled), oranges, kiwi and pineapple slices, berries, bananas and unsweetened 100 percent juices (not a fruit drink).
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