5 Reasons Why to Avoid School Lunches
When most of us think about school lunch it brings up memories good and bad. The thought of salisbury steak gives me chills! But if you break down what is in these school lunches you quickly learn that they are not packed with high quality ingredients. We also know that school's do not have enough funding to provide 'real' and nutrient dense foods to their students. But do you really know what is in your child's school lunch? Once you find out you may reconsider sending your growing child to school with a school lunch.
1. Highly Processed Ingredients:
Most items on the school lunch menu contain over 20 ingredients. The average school lunch cheeseburger contains 26 ingredients! These processed ingredients include caramel color (a known carcinogen), disodium carbonate (known to increase heart rates), MSG, silicon dioxide, and more.
2. Lack of Nutrients:
School lunches lack the vital nutrients that children need to grow and strive in school and at home. Most school lunches lack the vegetables, fats, and high quality protein that children need for healthy development, strong immune systems, proper gut health, etc. School lunches are federally regulated but many foods that are considered 'healthy' are not. According to the school lunch regulations fried foods, chocolate milk, ketchup are considered part of a 'balanced' meal.
3. Contain Harmful Ingredients
School Lunches do not focus on the QUALITY of the food. School lunches contain harmful foods such as pesticides, gmo's, high fructose corn syrup, sugar, and commercially raised animal products. Pesticides and GMO's have been linked to autoimmune conditions, greater risks of ADHD, lower IQ scores, increase of obesity, and increase of cancer rates.
4. Leads to Behavioral Issues
We all know that school lunches are high in sugar and low in healthy fat. This combination leads to major blood sugar dysregulation. The sugar causes a spike in blood sugar leading to symptoms of bursts of energy, inability to focus, difficulty sitting still, causing trouble in the classroom. After this spike in blood sugar low blood sugar is the after effect. Low blood causes the symptoms of fatigue, inability to focus, behavioral issues, lack of engagement at home and in school. and more. This blood sugar roller coaster is causing 'behavioral issues' in school. The fix? Incorporate foods that will fuel your child's brain and balance blood sugar! These foods include healthy fats, high quality protein, and organic produce.
5. Teaching Children Poor Eating Habits
Childhood is an important time to teach children healthy eating habits. These eating habits are shaping what are children will eat for their adult life. Introducing highly processed and sugary foods is shaping kids pallet for the future. It is important to teach children the connection to between growing, preparing, and enjoying vegetables and other foods.
What our children eat now does make a difference! We can't depend on these meals to provide the best quality for our children. As parents it is our role to make sure we provide the food that will provide high quality food for healthy development. Start packing your children's lunch or look into our pre-made kids meals. Our children are worth the extra time and money.