Teaching Your Kids to Choose Healthy in the Cafeteria
If you have walked into a school cafeteria during lunch time, then you know that the foods that kids are attracted to are low in fiber, high in fat and high in sodium. These foods includes kid’s favorites like pizza, chicken nuggets and tater tots. You ensure that your child eats healthy at home so naturally you want to be sure they also eat healthy at school. While kids may not have much of a choice over what they eat at home, the school cafeteria is the one place they do have quite a bit of control over what they have for lunch. Here is how you can teach your kids to choose healthy foods in the cafeteria.
Ensure they choose fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are essentials when it comes to nutrition. While they are vibrant in color, they also are loaded with fiber and vitamins. Kids should consume a minimum of five servings of fruits and veggies every day so at lunch, they should eat one or two servings. Servings aren’t large portions either. In fact, a serving of fruit is one orange and a serving of vegetables is ½ cup of carrots.
Teach them about the fat content in foods
Fat is not always a bad thing; in fact, kids need some fat in their daily diet in order to keep healthy. However, you want to be sure that kids know that while some fat is good, they don’t want to consume a great deal of it. Foods that are baked or grilled are healthy and contain a small amount of fat. Other healthy foods that are low in fat content include low-fat milk, fruits and vegetables. Foods they want to stay away from that are high in fat content include cheeseburgers, French fries and macaroni and cheese.
Be sure they select whole grain foods
Whole grains may be your child’s best friend at lunchtime. Whole grain foods are pasta, cereals, rice and breads. It is important that they choose these items that are made with whole grains instead of refined grains.