Healthy School Lunches Make a Big DifferenceMonday, August 13th, 2012
Healthy school lunches make a difference to kids as they start a new and exciting school year. Preparing healthy school lunches can be challenging for parents due to lack of access to healthy foods, cost, time and confusing nutritional information. However, long standing research confirms that preparing healthy school lunches is well worth the effort.
Motivation for healthy school lunches
According to LetsMove.gov, nearly 1 in 3 children in America is overweight or obese and the numbers are higher in African-American and Hispanic communities, where nearly 40% of the children are overweight or obese.
Being overweight or obese causes additional health problems like:
- heart disease,
- high blood pressure,
- cancer and
- asthma in addition to
- social and emotional implications.
LetsMove.gov explains that because kids are less active, eat less vegetables and home cooked meals and eat more fast food, obesity rates in children are overwhelming. Portions sizes are 2 to 5 times bigger and “the average American eats 15 more pounds of sugar a year than in 1970.” So that’s our starting point..
Michelle Obama’s goal
In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move!, the initiative dedicated to solving the challenge of childhood obesity within a generation. The initiative involves both fitness and nutrition.
My Plate is the nutritional aspect of Let’s Move! that uses the icon on the right. In the image, the five food group portions reflect the latest research in a healthy diet. Parents should use this image to select the right combination to keep their children healthy.
Fuentes - Food as Fuel
Children need to eat a balanced diet so that they can grow, play and learn. One mom, Laura Fuentes, founder of Momables, applied the concept of eating a balanced diet and Spanish tapas to her kids’ school lunches. Born in Spain, Laura saw an opportunity to use tapas to create healthy lunches for her two children who are picky eaters. Laura spent 5 years creating fun and fresh recipes that would appeal to children.
Laura used those recipes and created Momables which is an online lunch box plan for busy moms. A weekly shopping list is included and most importantly, healthy school lunches can be prepared in under 10 minutes.
Membership to her website is between $5 and $6 per month, however, she offers a free week download for you to test her product.
When it comes to keeping a healthy home, small changes make a big difference.
Instituto del Progreso Latino (Instituto) of Chicago, Illinois was incorporated in 1977 to meet the needs of Latino immigrants to learn English, find employment, accustom their children to the U.S. educational systems, and adjust to life in Chicago in a myriad of ways.Read More