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Back To School for Parents

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How many parents viewing this blog entry remember bringing their lunch bag to school? It usually consisted of a kid-friendly peanut butter and jelly sandwich, chips or crunchy crackers, and pudding or a Hostess treat for dessert.  If carrots or apples were included, they were often ignored or tossed out.

Let me break down the sugar content of that lunch.  The peanut butter had sugar, as did the jelly. Most crunchy chips, or Cheetos, wedged into the biting surface of back molars for at least a half hour after lunch was over and broke their starches down into sugars. Pudding, Jello, and cupcake treats just contained calories, mostly from sugar, and had no nutritional value. So let’s rethink that traditional school lunch.

Peanut butter is now available with no sugar, and so are jellies. See whether canned chicken or tuna, with finely diced fruit or vegetables, works as well. Some breads have cut back on their sugar content. Read the ingredients label before purchasing. Those sugar-loaded desserts just make it a challenge for teachers for the hour after lunch.  Instead, consider putting peeled carrots and easy-to-handle fresh fruit in each lunch bag. The dental profession considers these items “detergent food” because their consistency serves to dislodge some plaque from teeth.