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Are School Lunches Rich In Fat?

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School lunch Your child's lunch at school typically ranges from a hot dog, cheese sandwich, chips and fries to creamy sugary milkshakes. Still wondering whether school lunches are rich in fat? Unfortunately there is a dearth of healthy eating options at school cafeterias which is adding on to the burden of obesity that America is suffering from. In this blog we will look at this worrying trend and how to improve school lunches for the sake of good health.


 


A Typical School Lunch


Unhealthy school lunch


  • Plenty of sugary drinks like processed fruit juices and carbonated beverages that are available in the vending machine.


  • Ice cream and thick milkshakes that are made out of whole milk that has a fat content of more than 4 g per 100 ml of milk.


  • For the main meal  - fried chicken, potato fries, refined bread sandwiches and pizzas are the only options.


  • Snacks consists of a variety of chips, cheese balls and high calorie biscuits.


  • Fruits and vegetables do not usually find their way into a school lunch.


  • Dessert consists of cakes, brownies, candies and cookies that  do not contain essential nutrients.


  • After nutritional analysis it has been found that a school kid consumes about 340 to 500 k cal in just one meal, which is alarming.


 


Steps That Can Be Taken


Healthy school lunch


  • It is most important that the availability of healthy snacks, drinks and lunch options be increased by the school authorities and government agencies.  Change what the vending machine dispenses out and one can see a huge difference.


  • The use of low fat or skim milk should be encouraged. Fruit shakes are also a good option.


  • Fresh fruits and fruit salads are a must on the menu. Fruit juice if any must only be 100% that has no added sugar.


  • Other than potatoes which is most commonly used, leafy and yellow orange vegetables must be introduced as healthy stir fries and soups. Interesting salads can also be planned.


  • Use whole grain breads and brown rice in place of their refined, low fiber counterparts.


  • Desserts can be made healthier by adding fresh and dry fruits to them. Steamed puddings and fruit cakes are so much better.


  • Using oil that has low levels of trans fats and high amounts of essential fatty acids is a healthier option compared to the hydrogenated vegetable oils that are used.


 


The government has finally awakened from its slumber and is taking efforts to provide healthy and wholesome meals to all children. Parents can help by packing nutritious lunches keeping the above points in mind. A small step will make a big difference for sure.


 


Image Credit  blog.fmh.orgparentsagainstjunkdining.wordpress.comwhatsforschoollunch.blogspot.in


 


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