Monday, July 30, 2012

Foods for Child's Healthy Lunchbox


Everyone struggles with what foods to pack for their kids. So here is a kids' menu, highlighting some of the best foods for fueling young brains. Make sure your child's lunchbox has these three healthy foods to help him or her stay focused all day.

Reams of studies show that fueling the brain with breakfast is important for thinking, acting, and learning. And children who are undernourished perform poorly on cognitive tasks.
But not just any breakfast will do: Research shows that fueling your kids with slower-burning carbohydrates (also called low-glycemic-index foods) like oatmeal instead of faster-burning, or high-glycemic-index, breakfast foods (think: sugary cereals) helps them to maintain their concentration and attention throughout the school morning.

New studies show that being even mildly iron-deficient affects learning, memory, and attention. (About 10 percent of young women are anemic — because of their monthly loss of iron-rich blood.) Luckily, restoring iron levels to normal also restores cognitive function.

During childhood and adolescence, the body uses calcium to build strong bones — a process that's all but complete by the end of the teen years. Giving your kids enough calcium at a young age will help prevent osteoporosis later on. Yet more than 85 percent of girls and 60 percent of boys aged 9 to 18 fail to get the recommended 1,300 milligrams of calcium per day (kids aged 4 to 8 years old need 800 mg; toddlers aged 1 to 2 years need 500 mg).
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines recommend 2 cups of low-fat or nonfat milk or dairy products per day for children 2 to 8 years old and 3 cups for children 9 years and older.

Reference:  Hearst Communications Inc, 2012, 
School Lunch 101: 3 Must-Have Foods for Your Child's Healthy Lunchbox, [Online] Available from:

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