When you pack your own school lunch (or work lunch), those prepackaged lunches with crackers, cheese and meat are just so convenient and so appealing. But are they nutritious? Are they a good buy? For that matter, are they really easy for your child to take to school?
No, no and no, says a University of Georgia nutritionist.
"They're pretty low on the totem pole when it comes to lunch foods for school children," said Connie Crawley, a UGA Cooperative Extension food, nutrition and health specialist after a review of products.
Nutritious? Not really. They're very high in sodium (salt), low in fiber and very high in fats. In fact, some contain half the daily value for saturated fats - too much to be feeding a child, Crawley said. Most are low in calcium, an important nutrient for growing children.
Also on the negative side: Prepackaged lunches don't have vegetables or fruit. The drinks are mostly sugary instead of fruit juice. They're highly processed. Most need to be kept cold and won't fit easily into any insulated lunch bag. And they're not cheap.
What's a parent to do?
Used with permission from www.health-eheadlines.com, © 2007, Write On, Inc.
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