It’s that time of year again: A new school year is just around the corner and your list of things to do grows by the day. Between buying a fortune worth of school supplies, making sure your kids catch the bus and attending parent-teacher conferences, there may be little time to think about what is going into your child’s lunch. However, with childhood obesity on the rise, it is more important than ever to prioritize your child’s nutrition. Furthermore, healthier meals will keep your child full, energized and focused all day.
To start the day on the right foot, make sure your child gets a balanced and healthy breakfast. Breakfast can have a major effect on school performance for children, including attendance, test scores and concentration. The key to a healthy breakfast is including complex carbohydrates, such as 100% whole wheat toast or steel cut oatmeal, and adding proteins and healthy fats, such as Greek yogurt, peanut butter or eggs for sustained energy and concentration.
High fiber cereals or oatmeal are a good breakfast option, although it is always important to check the nutrition label for unhealthy ingredients, additives and sky-high sugar content. Top the cereal or oatmeal with fresh fruit, like bananas or strawberries, and chopped nuts for a healthy boost. Scrambled eggs on whole-wheat toast are another protein-packed option that can be topped with cheese, salsa, mustard or avocado. Classic peanut butter without added sugar and a sliced banana on toast can be a quick alternative.
Pack your child a balanced lunch for a midday boost to keep them focused through the last few hours of school. Skipping lunch or eating an unhealthy meal can lead to a lack of energy for after school activities and can cause your child to binge on low-nutrient, vending machine snacks later on. Incorporate nutrient-dense vegetables and fruits into your child’s lunch by adding them into a healthy sandwich on whole wheat bread or cut up as a side. Consider alternatives to a regular sandwich by packing unique and flavorful meals like a bean burrito on a whole-wheat tortilla with plenty of vegetables and salsa. A colorful salad with chicken or beans and healthy, low-fat dressing is another great option. Try to involve your child in lunch planning. If they have some input on their food choices, they will be more likely to eat and enjoy them.
Snacking throughout the day is also important in order to keep your child focused and provide them with necessary nutrients. Make sure your child has enough food with them to keep them full throughout the day so that their blood sugar is low and their focus is high. It is essential, however, to pack healthy, quality snacks that include carbohydrates and protein for short and long-term energy. Try an apple with a cheese stick or some nuts, a healthy granola bar (read the label for sugar and protein content), carrots and hummus or Greek yogurt with fruit.
If you prioritize your child’s health and nutrition, you may see results in the classroom due to increased energy and concentration. It doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult to make the right food choices, and it can have immense benefits for your child’s education and teach them healthy, lifelong habits. For more tips healthy tips visit Savorfull.com.
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