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Help your child get the nutrition they need at school

POSTED: Monday, August 22, 2011 - 3:32pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

Lunch time, a time for students to recharge and refuel. But experts say some of the things found in childrens lunch boxes may not be doing the trick. But why?

"The more processing that goes into a food, the less nutrition that comes out of it," Physician's Weight Control Center's Dr. Christopher Puempel said.

Less nutrition means less energy. So what are some things that parents can do to makes sure their kids are getting the most out of their lunch?

"Where we can make adjustments is, instead of throwing that bag of chips in, that's full of salt and processed kinds of things, we might put some carrots or grapes, you know, look for alternatives, " Dr. Puempel said.

Health experts say children need whole foods not just for the energy, but for the hunger control as well.

"Something that doesn't have a lot of sugar or processed carbs is going to be the best way to control hunger," he said.

One of the most important parts of a child's lunch is that is keep them full and energized, and one of the best ways of doing that is to have a lunch full of protein with things like turkey and yogurt.

With higher motabolisms and busier bodies, children can afford to eat higher fat and sugary foods, but experts say it's all about moderation.

"If they want to have that oh, snack pack pudding for dessert or something that's fine. Don't fill their lunch box with those kinds of foods so that's all they eat, cause they'll skip the carrots, they'll skip the everything else."

But if you're looking for one thing to change in your child's lunch box, Dr. Puempel has suggestions for that too.

"If there was one thing that we could do for our kids to increase their nutritional statuses as they grow up, is to really be wary of the sugary drinks."

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