Make an informed decision to pack or buy lunches
Parents want to be sure their children are eating nutritious lunches at school that give them the fuel they need to stay focused through the day. Many parents ask what's best, school lunches to pack or to buy? Is it better to pack a homemade lunch or have your child purchase lunch from school? Velocity Care offers some information to help you decide.
Buying a school lunch
If your child would like to buy his or her lunch from the school cafeteria, it is important to investigate your school and the options that it provides first. You should consider the following:
- Nutritional value. Over the past few years, many schools across the country have implemented new programs that eliminate unhealthy choices in their lunchrooms and vending machines, replacing them with wholesome, nutritious options. Now, schools provide fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins more frequently, while frozen, highly processed, high-sugar options are no longer being served.
- Cost. What is the cost for a school-bought lunch? It’s obviously an important factor in your decision. Often, the main lunch offering is affordable, but watch out for additional items that might be available for your child to buy, which will add up quickly.
- Variety. You should also consider the variety your school is offering. Is the school serving options daily that appeal to your child’s individual taste? Are meals exciting and different? Buying lunches may be especially difficult if your child has food allergies or is a picky eater.
Packing a lunch
Some children prefer a home-packed lunch. Here are several factors to consider:
- Time. Time is one of the biggest obstacles to packing a lunch. Do you have the time to properly prepare a nutritious meal every day? With a little bit of preparation and planning, you can package meals ahead of time. By staying organized and enlisting the help of your little ones, you can whip up a week’s worth of lunches in no time.
- Nutritional value. Ensuring that each lunch is nutritiously balanced can be difficult at times, especially if your child is a picky eater. Making sure that each meal contains fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean protein will give your child the energy he or she needs to power through the day.
- Personalization. Making your children’s lunches at home gives you the opportunity to cater to their individual likes and dislikes (and specific dietary needs). Sending them with a meal that they like ensures that they eat it.
- Cost. Making school lunches from home is sometimes the most cost-effective option.
Ultimately the decision of whether to pack or buy is yours, and you must weigh the options and make the best choice for you and your family. Perhaps, in this situation, balance is the key. Packing a homemade lunch on some days and buying one on others will balance nutrition and convenience and add variety to your child’s school mealtimes. You want to ensure your child consumes the correct about of calories each day and find ways to get your child eating healthy.
Do you have questions about your child’s health and nutritional needs? The physicians at Velocity Care’s walk-in clinics offer quick and professional care – right when you need it. We can also handle allergic reactions and gastrointestinal issues that may stem from the food your child consumes.
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This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.