BLOG: Summer is finally in full swing! And after a few weeks of vacation, kids are already getting tired the same PB&J sandwich for lunch everyday. During the school year, students are offered a different meal every afternoon in the cafeteria; however this responsibility falls into the hands of parents during the summer.
Whether you serve lunch at home, or pack a bag for summer camp, making a wholesome meal is important. Research studies show that most children experience some weight gain during their break from school; presumably due to unhealthy food choices. But as a busy parent, a nutritious lunch is just one of the many additional tasks on the summer to-do list. To save you time, I have developed tips to use at your local Stewart’s Shop for a quick and healthy meal.
For those with very active children: Try serving sandwiches on Stewart’s whole wheat bread. Two slices contain six grams of fiber to give your child longer-lasting energy. You may also consider picking up a made-to-order ham or turkey sandwich on wheat bread. This quick meal, which provides both protein and carbohydrate, is a great idea for a day at the ball field and fits perfectly in the cooler! And because active bodies need strong bones, make sure to include dairy at every meal. Stewart’s has resealable pint-sized refreshers, each with two servings per bottle, to keep you healthy on long summer days. The low fat chocolate milk refresher can also serve as a great recovery drink!
For those with less active children: It is important to encourage physical activity, but not all children enjoy playing in the heat. For these kids, nutritious food choices are especially important to prevent weight gain and also to teach them about a healthy lifestyle. Incorporating fruits, vegetables, fiber and lowfat dairy into their diet is key to a healthy weight. Adding produce into the lunch meal is easy at Stewart’s; just pick up an apple, orange, banana, or container of mixed fruit available at most shops. Stewart’s whole wheat bread is also a great lunch option for your child, as the fiber will keep them full longer and help them avoid unhealthy snacking.
And finally, all children need at least three servings of dairy for growing bones. For less active children, it is especially important to drink low-fat varieties of milk to prevent weight gain. And when you buy Stewart’s milk, you can guarantee they are getting more vitamins and minerals to keep them extra healthy!
At Stewart’s you are sure to find enough lunch choices to keep your child from getting bored with PB&J. And because there is a shop in nearly every neighborhood, Stewart’s is a convenient stop for busy parents who still want to provide their child with something nutritious to eat. When it comes to summer lunches, Stewart’s is a win-win for the whole family!
-Christine Sloat MS, RD, CDN
About Christine: Christine Sloat is a Registered Dietitian and life-long resident of upstate New York. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware, and a Master’s of Science in Applied Nutrition from The Sage Colleges in Troy. She has a nutrition consulting business, Nutritious Notions LLC