Nutritional lunch and snacks for students

With the school year in full swing, not only is it a good idea to get kids started with a good breakfast, but healthy lunches and after school snacks are just as important. Back-to-school can be a great time to refocus on your routine and eating habits.

But walking through the grocery store right now, aisles are littered with chips, candy, cookies, and soda.

Regional Health Rapid City Hospital dietician intern, Karley Konkol, says snacks like this should be saved for every now and again, not for everyday meals. As the saying goes, everything in moderation.  

A good breakfast will start a child’s day off on the right foot, preparing their minds and bodies for learning. Sugary foods that are prepackaged like pop tarts or some granola bars will make them feel hungry sooner. Eating whole grains and pairing simple carbs with a fat or a protein will keep them fuller longer. Examples would be: peanut butter toast, bacon and eggs, yogurt with some whole grain cereal or fruit and nuts in oatmeal.

One tip to get your kids to eat better is to involve them in process of making the food and have an appealing display.

Konkol says, “I definitely think presentation is important. What you serve a kindergartner might be different then what you serve someone in high school. So again, at getting them involved in the process of making ants on a log having them help you put the peanut butter on, the raisins on might be something more engaging for them and they’re more apt to eat.”

And when it comes to juice, check the label to be sure it says 100% fruit juice with no added sugar.

Konkol says milk is fine for kids since their bodies are growing. Vitamin A and D and Calcium are important for nutrition. Low-fat cheese would be another option.

If you are still wondering on what to feed your kids each day, the “My Plate Guideline” is always a good reference.

And if you become exhausted from having your child try new and healthy foods, the answer is – if you don’t succeed, try, try again.

“I definitely think introducing it multiple times is important, simply because their taste buds are changing. Try one week and then maybe wait couple of weeks and try again and see. They may have forgotten have tried it before, so just giving them that little bit of time might help them be more encouraged to try it.”

Categories: Local News, Wellness Wednesdays