Nutrition for Kids by Jumana Al Awadhi

A lot of mothers get confused about what kind of food they should put in their child’s lunchbox. One mother told me that her daughter refuses to eat “pizza, pancakes, bread” which she put in her in lunchbox every day! I’ve also heard a lot of stories about children who do not eat food in school, and mothers are worried that their children are starving themselves!

In this particular case, I can simply note that what mothers think is a versatile food is not correct, because bread, pizza, and pancakes are all pastries. This makes me believe that the child may suffer from an allergy to this type of food. We wonder if it is possible that the child’s stomach cannot digest it, does it bother him or cause him pain? Does he accept other food? If the answer is “yes” to the last question, then the child has a problem in the quality of food provided to him, not the food in general. The problem is that mothers usually feel embarrassed to put meals their children love in their lunchbox. If he loves rice, soup, potatoes for example, she should put these dishes in his lunchbox even if it is not usual in schools. In British schools, for example, the school kitchen offers food from different cuisines. It is quite natural to find soup or rice on the menu, because they know that students come from different countries and their preferences vary.

It is wrong to restrict students’ food at school to pastries, croissant, and baked goods just because they are familiar and easy to prepare. This is especially because students spend long hours at school and their bodies need energy to focus. Mothers also believe that putting homemade food in their children’s lunchbox would make other students tease them. In this case, the mother should request the assistance of the teacher to explain to students that needs differ and every student eats what he loves. The teacher plays a big role in influencing children and transforming things into something positive cherished by the child.

It is very important that children eat what suits their body and benefits them. Homemade food is healthier than pastries and processed foods. In the world’s most prestigious schools there are now food programs. Teachers noticed that when the type of food in school was changed, there was improvement and development in the academic level of students and these programs also helped in increasing the students’ concentration. They became more active and easier to handle. This is in addition to building good eating habits that will continue with the student for the rest of his life.

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