Nutritionist recommends how to pack a well-rounded lunch
August 22, 2019 08:25 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Preparing school lunches for children can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be.
Shelley Rael, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, said children need protein, whole grain, fruits and vegetables.
A good lunch can do more than stop a growling stomach.
"It helps them be well-fed. It helps them concentrate. It helps them be settled more, so they have less issues with attention, being able to focus," she said.
For protein, parents can give peanut butter, nut butter, cheese, lunch meat and nuts.
Wheat crackers, whole wheat bread and even tortillas can cover the whole grains needed.
Fruits and vegetables should also be included.
An important tip is to stop using the food pyramid for meal portions. It's been outdated since 2001.
Instead, Rael recommends MyPlate for dietary guidelines.
"The plate is customized for the individual, but we have a general guideline where half the plate is fruits and vegetables, a quarter of the plate is protein, a quarter of the plate is whole grain, ideally. And even the dairy where that would be cheese, yogurt or milk," she said.
She said even without MyPlate, kids and adults can do a visual measurement on any plate.
Compared to the food pyramid, Rael said the new guidelines for nutrition are easier to understand.
Created: August 22, 2019 08:25 AM
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