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Think Outside the Lunch Box

lunch

Some kids are more likely to eat their lunch if they are given a variety of foods rather than the same old thing every day. Here are some ideas to get you thinking outside the lunch box.

  • Wrap it up – fill a tortilla with meat, cheese, and veggies, add your favorite dressing.

  • Fill a Thermos with soup or pasta

  • Send pasta or lettuce salads

  • Dip it – hummus with veggies or crackers, guacamole with chips, or ranch with veggies

  • Leftovers – send last night’s dinner, chicken and pizza make a great lunch

  • Different sandwich – put meat and cheese on a sub sandwich instead of bread or send something unusual like peanut butter and banana (use sunbutter for a nut-free option)

  • Homemade lunchables – cheese, meat, and crackers

  • Kabobs – fill skewers with grapes, tomatoes, cheese cubes, or meat

  • Quesadillas – they are taste great cold too

  • Breakfast for lunch

Why Lunch Really is the Most Important Meal of the Day

In modern society, we often hear the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But in dozens of countries around the world, lunch holds a place of cultural importance. In many studies, researchers have found that lunch may be even more important for school-aged children than any other demographic. Most schools don’t provide breakfast; therefore, lunch is the only meal that students have to give them energy throughout the day.

The Benefits

Eating lunch raises your blood sugar level in the middle of the day, which gives you the energy you need for the rest of the day. It also enables you to focus and concentrate on the rest of the afternoon. According to Live Strong, if you’re feeling sluggish, eating even a small lunch can renew your energy and help you feel refreshed and ready to take on the next several hours. For kids, lunch is crucial because this is when they get their nutrients and vitamins for the day. A balanced lunch can improve three channels: physical development, cognition, and behavior. Without these, it is nearly impossible for a student to develop, mentally or physically. Many well-designed studies, such as one from the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that “students at schools that contract with a healthy school lunch vendor score higher” on statewide achievement tests.

Breaks

Everything throughout the school day is fast-paced, and students rarely have a chance to relax. A lunch break is essential for a successful day. According to a psychologist at UC, Davis, “Staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking.” Innovation happens when people change their environment. Therefore, moving locations, even if it’s just to another room in the same building, is crucial to keep your mind active throughout the day.

In addition to taking a lunch break, eating a full meal on your break will lead you to have a smaller dinner. Eating late at night can lead to digestive and weight problems. In contrast, eating a full meal earlier in the day can help you maintain a healthier weight. If you are unable to get a full meal in, then try to eat something that is high in protein, such as yogurt or nuts. Also, it is important that when you do eat your lunch, you try to eat at a slow pace. According to a Harvard Mental Health article, this will prevent you from experiencing bloating, acid reflux, and indigestion. When you eat slower, you feel full faster, and you’ll eat less.

Besides the feeling you get when you eat a tasty meal, eating lunch has so many benefits that will help you out on a daily basis, and impact your mind/body for a healthier future.

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