The Easy Ratio to make a Perfectly Healthy Kids Lunch!

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The Easy Ratio to make a Perfectly Healthy Kids Lunch!

kids lunch

For a parent of school-going children, the biggest question every morning is what to give them for lunch, which not only fulfills their appetite but also gives proper nourishment. This duty comes with another challenge: to make sure that the children's lunch does not come back home filled with what was packed in it in the morning. 

Therefore, packing a nutritional lunch which the kids also enjoy becomes a huge task. Certainly, a parent's job is to offer their kids healthy, nutritious foods as many times as possible. As suggested by Aubrey Phelps, a functional perinatal and pediatric nutritionist, a parent should make a schedule to give nutrition-rich lunches to their kids for school. However, if the child denies eating healthy, it can be really stressful for the parents. But don't worry, Audrey Phelps has answers to all your worries and questions.

According to Phelps, no matter how hard you try to offer healthy food to your child, it is up to them to decide what they want to do with it. In such a case, the best way to get your kid habitual to healthy food is to keep offering it to them again and again occasionally. But, when they disagree with eating the food you as a parent want them to have, do not be stressed, neither take it personally.

When a child is not consuming healthy food at home, parents often think that putting it in their lunch would work as they might eat it to please their appetite. However, kids can be surprisingly very stubborn. They will spend the whole day at school hungry but will never eat what you have packed for them in lunch.

Therefore, Phelps recommends not to force the food they dislike on them as they will end up hating it even more. Instead, keep the lunch simple. Your primary focus should be on specific vitamins and minerals, which can easily be missed in the bigger picture.

To make it even easier for you, Aubrey shared a special macronutrient formula with the ratio of each nutrient for the parents to follow to make sure their kids get a nutritious lunch. All you are needed to do is keep the main nutrients and vary the sources of each nutrient, and your kid will certainly consume whatever you pack for lunch at school.

For a balanced meal that keeps your kid energized throughout the day in school, make sure to pack their lunch with 50% veggies and fruit, 25% lean protein, and healthy fats, add 25% starch or whole grains, and fluids.

This formula, known as the ideal school lunch formula, is often called 'the plate method.' This nutrition method has been proven to be highly efficient for school students and their nutrition.

With the help of the plate method, a student gets all the required nutrients in the proper ratio, and it also ensures that no single nutrient overpowers the other. In simple words, the school lunch formula described by Aubrey Phelps is the best way to provide a balanced diet for your kid.

If we talk about the formula shared by Aubrey, for the 50% portion of veggies and fruits, you can pack some carrots, cucumbers, grapes, apple slices, grape tomatoes, berries, watermelon, etc. for your child. To fulfill the 25% lean protein and healthy fats, you may add some chicken, tofu, turkey, hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt, nuts, seeds, or cheese. 25% starch can be fulfilled by whole grains rich food such as cereal, granola, whole grain bread, brown rice, crackers, etc.

Lastly, to ensure your child remains hydrated, make sure you give them enough and fluids in the form of fruit juice, vegetable juice, coconut, or sparkling liquid. Additionally, if you notice that your kid is slowly getting dependent on packed foods, interrupt that habit and add nutrition-rich food to their routine.

It is crucial for every parent to make sure that their kid is getting a balanced diet. They should be given all the nutrients in an adequate ratio. Make sure that your kid's lunch is not overpowered by one or two particular nutrients, which may look nutritious, but can actually cause harm to your kid's health.

For instance, if you pack your children's lunch mostly with carb-rich food and less protein, your kid will have a tiring and sleepy afternoon in school. Carbs and whole-grain food have the tendency to make you sleepy as they increase the level of sleep-inducing compounds called tryptophan and serotonin. Similarly, if you give your child protein-rich lunch with fewer carbs, they will face the same effect.

Nicole Avena, a New York-based health psychologist and the author of the book "What to Feed your Baby and Toddler," explained that carb and protein-rich foods are hard to digest for the body. Although they are essential nutrients, overpowering other nutrients can lead to fatigue, and more energy is required by the human body, specifically for a toddler, to digest carbs and proteins.

Taking care of children, specifically the school-going toddlers and older kids, can be very stressful. Parents are usually worried about the health of their children and how to give them a balanced diet to stay energized on a school day. This simple way can do wonders for every parent out there. Make sure to follow this easy ratio to make a perfectly healthy lunch for your kids.

Medical Disclaimer: The information and reference materials contained here are intended solely for the general information of the reader. Patients and consumers should review the information carefully with their professional health care provider. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by physicians. You should consult your physician before beginning a new diet, nutritional or fitness program.