This week, October 12-16, 2009 has been declared the National School Lunch Week. It is a time dedicated to increase public awareness -- parents, schools, and to the public at large -- of the importance of providing healthy meals to the children under their care.
What is the importance of providing healthy meals at school to children? To keep it simple, there are two major reasons (although there are plenty more):
Childhood obesity and its medical complications such as diabetes and heart disease (high cholesterol and elevated blood pressure) which were once thought to be only adult diseases, are on the rise in this country and have been so for the past 20-ish years or so.
It has been shown that children and teens (and adults, for that matter) do WAY better in school when they are provided with healthy food choices throughout the day -- better concentration, better behavior, better grades, and consequently, better opportunities and futures.
What can I do as a concerned parent?
Try to make the time to pack your child's lunch with healthy, delicious options. Enlist the help of the little yet opinionated person who will be eating their lunch later on -- they are more likely to eat it if they have more say in the lunch-preparing process. Click here for more suggestions from local Miami chefs and nutritionists.
Eating away from home does not automatically mean that your child will not have good eating habits. That is is more difficult to do so, yes, absolutely, Impossible? No. Click here for some tips and suggestions on eating out and away from home.
Join your School Board and attend Parent-Teacher Associations to provide your much-needed input and be an informed parent.
Every opportunity should be taken to provide growing minds and bodies with healthy fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy products. This will make a big difference in both the short AND long run of their lives.