Cool Healthy Food Choices images

February 13, 2012 · Posted in Healthy Food Choices 

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Image by USDAgov
Aneesh Chopra, White House Chief Technology Officer, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack present the Popular Choice Award to Aaron Coleman and Jesica Oratowski-Coleman, San Diego, California the developers of the game "Food Buster," winner of The Apps for Healthy Kids competition at the White House, in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, September 29, 2010. The Apps for Healthy Kids competition is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. The competition challenges software developers, game designers, students and other innovators to develop fun and engaging software tools and games to urge children, especially “tweens” (children ages 9-12) – directly or through their parents – to eat better and be more physically active. "Food Buster," is a game show that asks you to carefully stack food items that do not break our scale. For each round, you will try to find foods with the fewest calories, least added sugar and least amounts of saturated fat. The fewer the calories, the more points you will get. USDA Photo 10di1506-140 by Bob Nichols.

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Image by healthy lunch ideas
Good Nutrition in School Lunch Menu.

You might be surprised that what your kids eat might be the most important factor contributing to how well they do during their school day.

Studies unequivocally show that eating breakfast leads to better performance in school. In fact, findings indicate that children that eat a good breakfast get better scores on all standardized tests, and also, that they have better classroom behavior, as well as less hyperactivity at school. What they are eating also matters. Eating breakfasts that are high in sugar leads to eating more at lunch, fueling the epidemic of obesity.

What about school lunch menu? The good news is that if your child is eating a school lunch menu on a regular basis, this meal is getting more healthy. Organizations such as the School Nutrition Association are making concerted efforts to encourage all public schools to serve more healthy fare. As a parent or teacher, take the time to examine what is regularly on the school lunch menu. If it could use an overhaul to offer better nutrition, lobby the principal and school board to make some changes. One school which made the switch to a healthier school lunch menu showed significant improvements in student performance and truancy were completely eliminated!

The FDA also maintains a database of healthy recipes that can be browsed by both a school lunch menu program, and the general public. Focus on serving whole grains, lean meats and lots of fruits and vegetables. School lunch menu such as salad bars and wraps are popular with kids, while offering fantastic nutrition. Children are constantly growing and changing, and they need adequate vitamins and minerals to fuel that activity on a daily basis.

Gain optimal health from school lunch menu.

I understand the challenge of consistently providing children with healthy, nutritious school lunch menu. Foods that they will actually eat, that is! We have innate genetic requirements for health. We require purity and sufficiency in the way we eat, move and think. Without this, we cannot create optimal health, function and performance.

I’m seeing kids that are eating what passes as food simply to fill up, rather than to "fuel up". Food is being selected based on taste, rather than nutritional benefit. I’ve seen kids taking over the role of nutritional decision maker in many families – frightening!

Sure, it may temporarily ease the battles within the household, but it certainly doesn’t provide kids with any chance of building a solid, healthy foundation.

Many families don’t have the time, energy or finances for that anyhow. I believe that simple tweaks here and there can make tremendous differences in our children’s health, happiness and performance.

One thing I’ve noticed when sharing meals with other kids is the lack of natural vibrant color in their meals. I used to call it the "Brown Food Diet", but it has now been upgraded to the "White, Tan, Yellow, Beige, Brown Food Diet"!

I’m seeing an overwhelming amount of cereal, bread, pasta (mac ‘n cheese), crackers, chips, pizza, cookies, pastries, bagels, donuts, corn, French fries, cheese sticks and all sorts of fake food concoctions. The drink of choice? All loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors, sweeteners and flavors. Then there’s conventional cow’s milk… Where is the life in these foods? For color, I’ve seen plenty of M & M’s, Skittles, neon drinks and brightly colored breakfast cereal! We can’t possibly be building healthy little people with these ingredients! No wonder kids are now the sickest they’ve ever been. One of the easiest things we can do to help improve the nutritional health of our children is to add some fresh, natural color to their meals and snacks. Add some live food! Even just adding one serving of fresh fruit or vegetables is a tremendous improvement. The unhealthiest meal instantly becomes healthier with a little fresh fiber added!

We require it for health. If your child is not much of a water drinker, even adding one little glass each day is a big step toward better health.

If you really want to see dramatic health improvements, of course, we’d all benefit by reducing our toxic intake as well. Every choice we make has consequences. Help teach your children the positive consequences of making healthier nutrition in their school lunch menu.

Pros and Cons of Packing School Lunch Menu For Kids.

To pack or not to pack, that’s the question plaguing mothers everywhere. For busy parents on the go, the obvious choice is the school lunch menu. School lunches usually give children at least two choices and they are well balanced. Children can receive either juice or milk with their meal. School lunch menu also save parents time since they don’t have to keep portable food items on hand for packing.

Usually, the school lunch attendants are on their toes. Sometimes the schools further monitor the student’s eating habits. Of course, purchasing a lunch for your child can be more expensive than packing something from home, but there’s no denying it’s a time saver. Screen the school lunch menu schedule and select the days they are having meals your children like and you approve of. Go ahead and pack their lunches on the remaining school days.

Considerations in Packing School Lunch Menu For Your Children.

Busy moms and dads are faced with a daily morning dilemma pack a lunch for their child or send them off to school with lunch money. To decide, first consider a few things in favor of buying lunch at school. School lunch menu are an easier option for parents since they save time in the morning when getting ready for school and work. This ensures parents their child isn’t just eating treats for lunch.

Additionally, some schools monitor the children’s lunches, as well. Some parents prefer packing a lunch because it allows them to have control over what their children are eating. Students can still buy juice or milk to go with their packed lunch.

Another option would be to both buy and pack their lunches. Contact your school and get a copy of their monthly school lunch menu. To pack or buy is ultimately a personal decision for parents and can change depending on their circumstances.

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