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Why Aren’t Parents Packing Healthy Lunches For Kids?

According to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, few parents in Mass. are including healthy food like cucumbers and strawberries in packed lunches. (Matthew Mead/AP)

According to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, few parents in Mass. are including healthy food like cucumbers and strawberries in packed lunches. (Matthew Mead/AP)

What’s for lunch? Or, more specifically, what are you giving your kid for lunch? According to a new study from Tufts University, the answer is too much junk food and too few fruits and vegetables.

For decades, there’s been a debate about what schools serve for lunch. But this study took a look at what moms and dads pack into their kids’s lunch boxes — and it isn’t pretty. Low-nutrition packaged foods, sugary drinks and sweet snacks dominate the lunches, and only five percent included a serving of vegetables.

Guests

Beth Teitell features writer for The Boston Globe. She tweets @BethTeitell.

Jeanne Goldberg, professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, which tweets @TuftsNutrition. She’s also senior author of a new study on packed elementary school lunches.

More

The Boston Globe: At Lunch, Home-Packed May Not Mean Healthy

  • “As a gym teacher and wellness educator, Sharon Foster certainly knows it is important to feed her two children a healthy lunch. Even so, the Sudbury mother often sends her 10-year-old to school with chocolatey Nutella on white bread in her pink lunch box.”

CommonHealth: When Good Parents Pack Bad Lunches: Study Finds Kids’ Food Falls Short

  • “In my own defense of the many carbs-only lunches I’ve packed for a child who’ll eat nothing else at school, here’s some of my thought process: anything else I pack will just go uneaten. School is hard, not just academically but in its constant social pressure. I want lunch to be a time when my kids can unwind a bit, and eat favorite foods that sit well afterward.”

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