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Area Newspapers


Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas


Monday, August 3, 1998

Packing healthy lunches can be easy, fun

Remembering the ABCs will help parents pack healthy lunches
for their school-age children.

"A good guideline for packing nutrition into your chlid's
school lunch is to have a source of vitamin A, a source of
the B vitamins and a good source of both vitamin C and
calcium," said Dr. Debby Demory-Luce, nutritionist at the
USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor
College of Medicine in Houston, "because many foods rich in
these nutrients are also good sources of vitamin D, iron,
protein and carboyhdrates,"

Here are the ABC's of packing healthy lunches:

A: For vitamin A, provide one half-cup serving of a deep
yellow or deep orange fruit or vegetable. Baby carrots
(packed with a favorite yogurt dip), cubed cantaloupe, or
dried apricots are good choices.

B: B vitamins are found in whole grains, meat, nuts and
seeds. Meat, cheese or peanut butter sandwiches on whole
grain or enriched breads, low-fat cheese with whole wheat
crackers, pasta salad with cheese and kidney beans, and even
lunch-box treats of graham crackers, oatmeal cookies studded
with raisins and sunfloer seeds provide B vitamins, protein,
carbohydrates and iron. For kids' lunches pack at least two
servings of grains or bread and some protein every day.

C: Vitamin C and calcium are both found in calcium-fortified
orange juice. Pack one half-cup of fresh strawberries, cubed
pineapple, citrus fruits or citrus juice for vitamin C, and
one cup of low-fat milk or yogurt for calcium. Low-fat dairy
products also provide protein and vitamin D. This food
source of vitamin D is especially important for children in
cold climates who may not get enough sunshine in winter.

"Lunch should provide one-third of a child's daily intake of
vitamins, mineral and calories," said Demory-Luce. To ensure
children receive a nutritionally balanced diet, she
recommends choosing a variety of foods from the USDA Food
Guide Pyramid.

"It's important to get children involved in the selection
and preparation of their school lunches," said Demory-Luce.
"Not only do most children want a say in what they are going
to have for lunch, but parents can also use this time to
teach them how to make healthy choices. These lessons, will,
in most cases, stay with them for the rest of their lives.

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Pecos Enterprise
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.

324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321

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Copyright 1998 by Pecos Enterprise