Back to school means back to making lunches. Packing a school lunch that is low on the glycemic index (GI) helps maintain steady blood sugar levels, allowing energy for the rest of the school day.
When packing a low GI lunch for your kids, aim to achieve the right balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Each nutrient type adds something to your child's school performance and energy level. For example, carbohydrates low on the GI provide your child a steady energy supply. Carbohydrates that are best for the brain include fruits, cereals, vegetables and dairy products. Pairing low GI carbohydrates with a high protein lunch source, like almond butter or turkey slices, can improve brain performance. Fats are also an important component for a low GI lunch. Pack healthy fats that contain omega-3 fatty acids, such as canned salmon or tuna, soy or ground flaxseeds that can be added to yogurt. Avoid fats that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, which can be high in calories.
A sample low GI day for kids might look like this:
• Breakfast: oatmeal or yoghurt with strawberries and almonds
• Morning snack: rice cakes with cheese
• Lunch: wholegrain bread sandwich (with a favourite filler), an orange and a bag of popcorn
• Afternoon snack: berry and banana smoothie
Here’s to another successful school year, for kids and parents alike ;)