Healthy lunches to reinforce healthy eating habits Healthy lunches to reinforce healthy eating habits

Having an example and developing a routine are important for children to learn how to eat healthy and have nutritious snacks.

Medical Advisor Sandro Gómez Maquet – Nutritionist

As the foundation of good health, a healthy diet starts at home with parents setting an example. In order for children to adopt healthy habits, both meals at home as well as those they take to school should be balanced, rich in nutrients and low in sugar.

Having a good routine is therefore very important, states nutritionist Sandro Gómez, as when children are allowed to eat too many sweets during special occasions such as Halloween or birthdays, they begin to lose their habits. In order to avoid these types of situations, the recommendation is for each family member to commit to lowering their consumption of sugary drinks and foods and replace them with natural alternatives such as water and fruit.

Other actions families can put into practice so that children choose to eat healthy school lunches is to include them in the decision-making process for their meals, for example: taking them to the produce section at the supermarket so they can learn about the products, feel their different textures, become familiar with their smells and identify the colors that most catch their attention. Dairy-based proteins are also essential for their healthy growth and should be included in children’s breakfasts or as part of their school lunch.

To prepare a healthy school lunches in a practical way, Sandro Gómez recommends paying attention to the colors of the ingredients they eat on a daily basis, “Vitamins are necessary and essential, but for parents, it is easy to know whether they are providing their children a nutritious school lunch if they use color instead of reverting to the nutritional pyramid.” The recommendation is to include different fruits and vegetables with different colors at meals and school lunches all throughout the week. As our expert explains, “The trick is in the color and knowing that if your children are eating fruits and vegetables during the week that are green, white, red, orange, purple or yellow, they’re having a balanced diet.”

School lunches: a nutritional supplement

Eating breakfast at home before they start their day is the foundation of every child’s diet. This is why school lunch is actually a nutritional supplement and should never serve as a replacement of the first meal of the day. It is also important to keep in mind that portion sizes should correspond to a child’s height and weight. Children should also always have a natural beverage such as water, a fruit, a main meal with protein, and avoid highly processed foods.

When you choose to include cookies or sweets in your child’s lunch, the recommendation is to only do so at home in order to control how much sugar they are receiving and in order to make them with fresh ingredients without preservatives.

The variety and quality of fruits and vegetables Colombia has is a great incentive to lead a balanced diet.

Three nutritious alternatives for school

wraps

Tortilla wraps

This recipe for rides per team, which is important for children’s growth.

Cal: 380 / Proteins: 12 gr/ Fiber: 9 gr / Carbohydrates: 45 gr

Ingredients:

  • 2 pieces of whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 tablespoon of cream cheese
  • 1 turkey deli meat slice
  • 1 leaf of lettuce
  • 1 apple

Instruction:

  • Wash the apple and cut it into slices. Pack it in a plastic container and add several drops of lemon juice so that it does not oxidize and maintains its color and smell.
  • With two tortillas, make four rolls, sushi style, stuffing them with the turkey slices, cream cheese and lettuce.

Suggested drink

230 ml of watermelon juice.

A sugary drink a day, like watermelon juice, is okay.

chicken sandwich

Chicken sandwich

It helps digestive processes.

Cal: 320 / Proteins: 16 gr / Fiber 9 gr / Carbohydrates: 45 gr

Ingredients:

  • 50 g of shredded chicken
  • 2 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 1 slice of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 leaf of lettuce

Suggested beverage

230 ml of milk or water

Sugar-free strawberry jam

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg of ripe strawberries
  • Stevia or organic honey

Instruction:

  • Wash the strawberries by soaking them in water for 15 minutes, then cut them into medium pieces. Fruits must be ripe to prevent the jam from being acidic.
  • Put the strawberries in a nonstick skillet over low heat to soften them and reduce them to a pulp.
  • Stir constantly until the consistency of the jam becomes thick. Add the natural sweetener to taste and consume in the shortest time possible.

Protein is essential to children’s growth. Whole wheat bread fosters healthy digestion.

pizza integral

Mini whole wheat pizza

High in fiber and low in sugar.

Cal: 300 / Fiber: 6 gr / Carbohydrates: 30 gr

Ingredients:

  • 1 piece of whole wheat pita bread
  • 2 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1 slice of ham
  • 1 slice of pineapple

Instruction:

  • Use the whole piece of pita bread as the base and top with two slices of cheese.
  • Then, cut the pineapple and ham into small pieces and add it on top.

Serve with a half cup of fruit, such as mango and strawberries. You can add other fruits such as pineapple for greater variety and to contrast flavors.

Eating a variety of fruits provides micronutrients, antioxidants and fiber.

Suggested drink

230 ml of water.

This mini pizza is quick to prepare, is a healthy alternative and is appealing to kids.