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Your Health Today

Healthy Habits

What's in Your Bag?

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Running out of ideas for healthy lunches when you brown bag it to work or send your kids to school? Take heart — there are plenty of fun, tasty options that are easy to fix and light on your budget.

A balance of complex carbohydrates, protein and fat, such as turkey and cheese on whole grain bread with light mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato, is perfect to recharge your body midday. Such meals can keep you full and satisfied, while also avoiding the “2 p.m. crash” that often occurs when you eat junk food high in sugar or starch for lunch.

Recently, school districts changed their meal plans as a result of the Healthy Hunger-Free Act of 2010, which calls for healthier meals to be served. The new rules require districts to reduce the total sodium and fat in foods and focus on lean protein sources, such as lean beef, chicken, fish or pork. Fresh fruits and vegetables are now mainstays of lunchtime offerings and by 2014, all breads and cereals must be whole grain.

“It sounds obvious, but before the regulations were put in place, many children weren't even offered fresh fruit or vegetables,” says dietitian Danielle Clapper in St. Anthony’s Food and Nutrition Services.“Instead, there were canned fruit and starchy vegetables such as French fries.”

Clapper says healthy eating habits start at home, so it’s important that parents and their children start thinking about healthier food options.“Get your kids involved in making meals and offer easily accessible cut-up fruit and vegetables at all times for snacks,” she says.

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For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.

Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well­ being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.