SKOKIE, Ill. and QUINCY, Mass., Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Kicking off the new year, Peapod, the country's leading Internet grocer, has teamed up with Lara Field, MS, RD, LDN to help parents keep their kids focused and energized throughout the school day with ten quick and easy tips for packing nutritious school lunches.
Recent research from Preventing Chronic Disease found adolescents who typically brought their lunch from home five days per week ate fast food on fewer occasions; consumed fewer servings of soda, fried potatoes, and high-sugar foods; and ate more fruit and vegetables compared with adolescents who never brought their lunch to school.
"Packing a daily lunch for your kids can be challenging," says Lara Field, MS, RD, LDN. "For those just getting started - perhaps as a new year's resolution - my number one tip is planning. The key is to plan your weekly menus in advance and stock up on healthy choices your kids will be excited to bring to school."
Peapod offers excellent online shopping tools to plan and prepare healthy lunches. Busy parents can quickly shop off a list of their previous purchases to fill their fridge with the nutritious fruits, veggies and whole grains they've bought in the past. Additionally, Peapod's NutriFilter tool acts as a virtual nutritionist, reading product labels and highlighting items that fit health and nutrition needs in a variety of categories. Kids can even create their own custom plans, selecting all the properties of a healthy diet such as high fiber (>5 grams), low fat (3 grams or less), and high calcium (>30% DV).
Field's ten tips can get any parent on track for planning:
- Be prepared: Stock up on healthy lunch options for the entire school week. Shopping online at Peapod from your own kitchen is a great way to make sure you'll have everything you need.
- Balance your lunch: Choose one serving of meat/meat alternative, starch, fruit and vegetable for each lunch.
- Focus on fruits: Rotate colors for variety, choosing 1 serving (1 cup raw) per lunch.
- Vary the veggies: Don't get in a rut; avoid using the same vegetable in every lunch and choose at least a half cup per lunch.
- Let whole grains reign: Peapod lets you view each item's product label so it's easy to choose foods that include the words "whole grain" at the top of the ingredient list.
- Know the facts about fat: Less than 3 grams per serving is ideal, so choose low fat meats or poultry. At least 3 ounces per lunch.
- Slurp sensibly: Avoid high-calorie juice and soda and instead try water or low-fat milk.
- Skimp on sweets: Help the kids avoid cookie and candy temptation and stay clear of packaged snacks. Substitute fresh or dried fruits.
- Crave the calcium: Use Peapod's NutriFilter to choose items with >30% Daily Value. Yogurt, string cheeses and low-fat milk are good choices.
- Get kids involved: While shopping online or heading to the supermarket, talk with them about what they'd like to see in their lunches. NutriFilter is a great online tool that shows kids firsthand what is and is not healthy. Knowledge is power!
Founded in 1989 as a smart shopping option for busy people, Peapod today stands as the country's leading Internet grocer, serving the metro areas of Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Milwaukee, New Haven, Providence and Washington, D.C., Suburban New York City and communities in the states of Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Virginia. The Skokie, Illinois-based company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Ahold in The Netherlands, has made over 15 million deliveries. For more information on Peapod, call 1.800.5.PEAPOD (573.2763), or visit www.peapod.com.
About Lara Field, MS, RD, LDN
A Peapod shopper herself, registered dietitian Lara Field has always had a passion for kids' nutrition. With clinical practice at two of the top ranked pediatric hospitals in the country, Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago and University of Chicago Medical Center, she has specialized in pediatric nutritional care, including managing picky eating, food allergies and other digestive diseases including celiac disease. For more information about Lara's services, call 847-651-4729 or visit www.feedkids.com.