Kids who skip lunch are missing out on essential nutrients

Minimal Health

Children who skip lunch may not be getting enough vitamins and minerals from the rest of their meals and snacks, a study suggests.

Nutrition for Kids

Researchers examined nutrition information for almost 4,800 school-age kids and found that about 7 to 20 percent skipped lunch at least once a week.

“Overall, the lunch meal is very important for helping children meet their nutrient needs, especially for fat-soluble vitamins A and D, minerals like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium that are important for healthy bones, and dietary fiber,” study coauthor Alison Eldridge of the Nestle Research Center in Lausanne, Switzerland, told Reuters Health in an email.

Previous studies have focused on nutrient intake and breakfast skipping or snacking, but no one had looked at what happens when kids miss lunch.

Eldridge and her colleagues wanted to fill that gap, so they examined information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys 2009-2010 and 2011-2012.


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