September is quickly approaching. This means kitchens across America will be buzzing as parents reach for the refrigerator to pack brown bags and lunch boxes. Before you head to the grocery store to stock up on lunch items, keep in mind these suggestions for packing a heart-healthy lunch from the Barnabas Health Heart Center at Saint Barnabas Medical Center.
- Replace white bread with 100 percent whole wheat bread, pita pockets or tortilla wraps.
- Skip the chips and cookies and opt to include a fruit, vegetable and low-fat dairy product with your child's lunch. Grapes, sliced apples, baby carrots, cheese sticks and yogurt are all great choices that are easy to eat and will help keep your child feeling satisfied through the afternoon.
- Replace sugary beverages like soda, juice or sweetened iced tea with water, unsweetened iced tea, low-fat milk or flavored water or seltzer.
- Substitute a high-calorie condiment like mayonnaise with its low-fat/light alternative or use mustard or try adding avocado or hummus to a sandwich for moisture.
- While it may slow the process a bit, engaging your child in choosing his/her lunch increases the chances he/she will actually eat what's been packed for them rather than reaching into their pockets to find money for the vending machine.
For more information about children and nutrition, visit the Barnabas Health online Health Library at healthlibrary.barnabashealth.org.
About Barnabas Health Heart Centers – Life is Better Heart Healthy
Barnabas Health's expansive network of cardiac services and facilities offers all the advantages of a single, multi-center program, with convenient access to consultation, testing, follow-up care and rehabilitation. Our award-winning Heart Centers are nationally recognized. We offer adult and pediatric cardiovascular programs throughout New Jersey. Our emergency department provides treatment and diagnosis of heart attack and other cardiac conditions. Barnabas Health's cardiac surgeons perform minimally invasive valve and bypass surgeries, and complex open-heart surgery. Our heart transplant program is the third largest in the nation.
Our Heart Centers act as a model for today's most progressive cardiac programs, bringing together an extensive team of experienced heart specialists with a full complement of clinical resources. Our patient-centered philosophy continues to guide our ambition to improve the heart health of New Jersey residents.
For more information and location details, visit barnabashealth.org/heartcenters.