Nutritionists offer tips for kids' snacks, lunches

September 5, 2011, University of Maine

University of Maine nutritionists are available to offer advice for parents and guardians looking to pack healthy -- and appealing -- lunchboxes for children and adolescents, and to identify the benefits of school-prepared meals and snacks.

Mary Ellen Camire, a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and professor of and human nutrition, is an expert on the of , foods and , in addition to the prevention and amelioration of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

She suggests considering several types of immune system-boosting foods to help kids ward off colds and viruses.

“Vitamin A helps the immune system, so yams, carrots, spinach, mangoes and vitamin A-fortified foods like milk could be served,” Camire says. “Emerging research indicates that red, purple and blue fruits and vegetables including our own blueberries, red grapes, strawberries and cranberries also protect against infections.”

Foods that contain probiotics also can boost the immune system, so yogurt smoothies with blueberries can help boost health and nutrition in several ways, she adds.

Kate Yerxa, University of Maine Cooperative Extension statewide educator for nutrition and physical activity, also can discuss healthy snacks and lunches packed from home or the benefits of school meals and snack programs, in addition to ideas to help keep kids motivated and moving when they’re not at their desks.

Yerxa notes that the proliferation of school gardens has helped educate students about proper nutrition and the types of fruits and vegetables that provide it. She adds that the new Farm to School initiative also is helping.

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.