Many kids come home from school hungry because they either didn’t finish their lunch or threw it away, but some children may also experience this because they had too much lunch. What’s important to remember is that children’s bodies are still developing and expanding, so they need plenty of nutritious food to fuel them throughout the day.
But you should also be practical when planning what to pack in their lunches. By monitoring their food intake more closely, you can reduce the size of their lunches and give them more room for snacks after school.
Importance of eating lunch every day.
Despite the common belief that breakfast is the most important meal, many students eat lunch before classes. Nutrition consultant and book author Sandy Baumann of Farmington, Michigan, visits schools in the Detroit area to educate children on the importance of eating well.
She experimented with second graders and discovered that 20% had skipped breakfast before arriving at school. She claims that this is the norm. A common reason is that they are late or aren’t hungry.
Those who choose to forego breakfast should consider their lunchtime meal to be all the more crucial. However, professionals agree that every child needs a midday snack to keep them energized and ready to learn.
Just the right measure.
The growth of food portions was examined in a study conducted by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between 1977 and 1996. Sizes were found to be growing, especially for savory and fatty foods high in salt.
According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the recommended daily intake of sugary drinks has increased from 6.5 to 20 ounces in the last two decades. Bagels, a seemingly healthy snack, have grown in size and calories despite their original 3-inch diameter and relatively low 140-calorie count 20 years ago. To keep up with modern standards, today’s bagel would be 6 inches in diameter and 350 calories.
Your child probably doesn’t need as much food as you think they do. Lynne Schreiber, a mom of three from Southfield, has developed her own “rule of three” for her two preschoolers. The protein comes from a small sandwich or yogurt, and the other two are fruit and vegetables. Schreiber claims she makes an effort to stay grounded. As a side dish, she frequently sends a Ziploc bag containing ten olives, one for each finger.
Check the lunches you pack for your own children to see if you’ve succumbed to the smorgasbord mentality. Pack half a sandwich for your child instead of telling them to finish it if they always bring it home uneaten. Experts say that children are often more adept at reading their “fullness” cues than we give them credit for.
In this context.
There is no assurance that your well-balanced lunch, which you packed just so for your child, will actually be eaten. For two factors, both lunch and recess are combined.
I’ve seen how short their lunch break is when I’ve visited (during lunchtime) the cafeteria. They can’t wait until recess to play. I’ve noticed that many children nowadays eat without even chewing their food.
To a lesser extent, this also includes time spent with friends and family. When it comes to socializing with their peers, lunchtime is often the day’s first opportunity. Apples, which require a lot of chewing, are likely to be left uneaten. Kids today have it tough, and some need a less chaotic environment to eat in peace.
How do you get kids to eat their lunch if you can’t give them more time or alter their innate social tendencies?
Dr. Julie Lumeng, a pediatrician who studies children’s eating habits, says, “I do think it’s entirely appropriate to give a child a more substantial snack after school.” It’s a “reframing,” she says, that schools are switching from packing smaller lunches to sending larger snacks in the afternoon. The mothers must provide their children with a “mini-meal” when their children return home from school.
Certainly, this provides material for reflection. Some kids, after all, eat lunch at 11 or 10:45 a.m., well after the official midpoint of the school day. Why is it any wonder that some people return from work hungry?