Corewell Health is the new name for Lakeland. Learn More
One Unified System of Care: Find out how we’re creating a better experience and updating your MyChart. Learn More

Lunchroom Table Talk

lunch-kidsAll of the activities children take part in during a typical day at school – using both brain power and muscle power – can use up a lot of energy. It’s up to you to ensure that your kids are refueling their bodies each and every day. It only takes a few minutes, and a little creativity, to gather up ingredients for a healthier brown bag lunch.

Healthy Choices Start at Home 

Even before kids start going to school, they’re learning about food every day – through their parents. 

“Children learn at very young age about eating habits,” explains family medicine physician, John Howard, MD. “If parents eat well and instill good eating habits in their children, they tend to carry those habits with them throughout their lives.” 

Be a role model – choose healthier snacks for yourself such as whole-grain granola bars over icing-covered snack cakes, or pretzels instead of potato chips. Kids mimic your behavior whether you realize they’re watching or not. 

Kids may be more likely to eat a lunch they helped to pack, so involve them in selecting items at the store or the farmer’s market. Try making a game out of how many colors of the rainbow they can include: green lettuce on a sandwich, a red apple, and orange carrots.  

While giving kids a say in their lunch food choices is important, keep in mind that the options they choose from should ultimately be decided upon by an adult.

What Goes Into a Healthy Lunch? 
(And What Should Stay Out) 

Most of the time, foods found around the edges of a grocery store make for the healthiest choices. Think of items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole-grain breads, and low-fat dairy products. When weighing 
your lunch food choices, focus on fresh instead of pre-packaged options.

“Foods that are less processed have fewer preservatives and less sodium,” said Dr. Howard.

And even though juice boxes are convenient, you may want to think twice about adding them to your child’s lunch. Encourage kids to buy low-fat or skim milk at school or send a thermos of cold water.

“Remember, even if a fruit juice is all-natural, it is essentially concentrating the amount of sugar in eight to 10 pieces of fruit,” advises Dr. Howard.

Earn an A+ with These Healthy Lunch Ideas

  • Liven up a plain old peanut butter and jelly sandwich by cutting the bread into fun shapes 
  • Toss sliced apples or berries on top of low-fat plain yogurt 
  • Put a slice of low-fat or fat-free cheese on whole-grain crackers 
  • Make a whole-wheat pita pocket with hummus, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber 
  • Pop some low-fat popcorn 
  • Put a refreshing twist on chicken salad by adding grapes and walnuts 
  • Dip sweet pepper slices, celery, or carrots in fresh salsa or hummus 

Continue Watching

Butternut squash and cannellini bean quesadilla

Butternut squash and cannellini bean quesadilla is a great family friendly recipe.

Bigger than a Building: Newly renovated Corewell Health Lakeland Hospital Pavilion

The newly renovated Corewell Health Lakeland Hospital Pavilion in St. Joseph focuses on high-tech modernizations and exceptional patient experiences.

How can you prepare for the cost of birth?

Are you expecting? You may have a lot of financial questions. Our financial counselors are here to help, regardless of your situation.

How can you prepare for the cost of surgery?

Planning for a surgery? Stay ahead of your health care bills by connecting with a financial counselor today.

How can financial counselors help?

If you’re concerned about your medical bills or just have questions, our financial counselors are here to help.

COVID-19 vaccine and kids

Pediatrician, Anne Dudley, DO, and Berrien County Health Department Medical Director, Rex Cabaltica, MD, discuss the COVID-19 vaccine for kids.

Tiny poke. Big impact.

Learn how to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

Pardon our dust: Phase II Pavilion project updates

Phase II of the Pavilion project at Spectrum Health Lakeland Medical Center is now underway.

Why I vaccinated: Community member, Deborah Haynes

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and stay protected, community members are getting a tiny poke with a big impact.

Why I vaccinated: Community member, Sharon Kuhns

To help slow the spread of COVID-19 and stay protected, community members are getting a tiny poke with a big impact.

Copyright © 2024 Corewell Health. All rights reserved.