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Your Healthy Family: 3 simple ideas to help kids eat healthy at school

Posted at 9:14 AM, Aug 16, 2018
and last updated 2019-07-09 11:27:44-04

COLORADO SPRINGS –

As we settle into the new school year are you sending your kids to school with a healthy lunch? David Egerdahl a registered dietician with UCHealth Memorial Central hospital has a few simple ideas to encourage your kids to make the best choice possible in the cafeteria.

“You can’t be by their side 100% of time so the key to getting your kid to eat healthy is finding a compelling reason of why they want to eat healthy.  Perhaps they are into sports and that can be their motivation for eating healthy that was mine as a kid. Perhaps academics and you can help them understand that certain foods will help them perform better in academics.”

If you do pack lunch for your kids, here’s what Egerdahl says should be in it.

“You want some kind of meat or protein which is challenging.  You can do a deli meat that is low in sodium, or something dairy that is high in protein.  You want something high in grains like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on wheat. That’s perfect for older kids but it may not provide the sustenance they need, but for younger kids it’s pretty good.  Milk is good, kids are growing and milk and dairy is always a good thing. Then you want a fruit and a vegetable and balance it out so If they want something sweet, there is something in there to get them through the day.”

And if finding the time to pack a healthy lunch is what is holding you back from sending your kids to school with a healthy lunch, Egerdahl says a little organization can go along way.

Healthy food prep
Taking an hour to prep healthy food items on a Sunday night can save time during the week

“It takes being a proactive parent, but on a Sunday evening you can prepare 5 little baggies of carrots, 5 apples whatever and then you have that ready for them and the work is done.  Your kids can just grab it and go and you’re not doing that every single morning while trying to rush the kids to school. Prepping ahead can be very helpful because it’s a more efficient way to prepare things.  It may take an hour on a Sunday night, but if your doing it each morning, you’re taking 30 minutes each morning.”

Finally make sure you pack that lunch in a lunch box that is insulated with something in there to keep that food cold, which will mean it’s safe and healthy for your kids to eat come lunch time.

UCHealth Memorial is a proud sponsor of Your Healthy Family