Equipping The Kids for Another School Year
“Its the most wonderful time of the year!” This song is being sung by many parents and not so many kids. It’s a bitter sweet time for me, I love the relaxed atmosphere over the summer and the extra time with the kids, but I love to return to a schedule where I can get some work done 🙂
Equipping our kid’s to succeed in school is important. I’m sure many kids have new shoes, backpacks, lunch bags, that back to school outfit and a new haircut. Our kids are going to be strutting their summer tans and sharing their holiday stories with their friends next week. They are all going to be looking their best. Don’t forget to get your back to school photo 🙂
Now that they look good, let’s help them feel good. I often hear how dreadful meal prep can be on the daily, especially the packed lunch. I totally hear ya. Sending my kids off to school after a good healthy breakfast and packing a variety of healthy lunches, that are not green monster smoothies, that don’t make us look like we come from another planet… is a lot and lot of work. Add in the mix, food restrictions; we mom’s have to get creative.
The Most Important Meal of the Day
The health benefits of breakfast are really important, especially for young people. According to a recent study on kids and how breakfast affects school performance and behavior, eating breakfast every day is “positively associated with improved school performance.” And research also suggests that the quality of the breakfast also had a positive impact. The next time your child wants to skip breakfast, here are the benefits to consider:
- EATING BREAKFAST ASSISTS IN MAINTAINING A HEALTHY WEIGHT
- EATING BREAKFAST PROVIDES ENERGY AND ESSENTIAL NUTRIENTS
- EATING BREAKFAST IMPROVES ALERTNESS, CONCENTRATION, MENTAL PERFORMANCE, MOOD AND MEMORY
To ensure your children are receiving the benefits of breakfast, choose a healthy breakfast meal which is high in fibre, has a low Glycemic Index (GI), no added sugar, high in healthy fats and includes some protein.
The Lunch Box
A healthy school lunch provides sound nutrition to establish a lifetime of healthy habits and the energy your child needs for the rest of their busy day. It’s vital your child eats a healthy lunch, because lunch provides one-third of his daily calories. You want to make those calories count by offering nutrient-dense foods. Children who eat a healthy lunch have a higher nutrient intake not only for lunch but also for the entire day — compared to children who don’t.
When children don’t eat a healthy lunch, it’s harder for them to concentrate at school and to muster the energy for after school activities. They’re also more likely to reach for unhealthy snacks later in the afternoon. By offering a healthy school lunch, your child will get the energy he needs to power through the afternoon.
Healthy Habits Eating
We can also work together as a family introducing healthy eating habits at home. This will increase the chances that our children will make healthier food choices when they are away from home as well.
- Pack a Lunch & Get The Kids Involved! It may be time consuming, but the benefits far outweigh the added effort. This is also a great time to get your kids involved and get them comfortable with packing their own lunches. Push raw vegetables and fruits, whole grain breads and healthy dips like hummus or seed butter.
- Replace Sugary Drinks with Naturally Flavored Water. The keyword here is ‘naturally’. By ‘natural’ I mean introducing actual fruits or citruses to glasses of water to organically add vitamins and minerals. Try adding lemon wedges, limes, strawberries, blueberries or even cucumbers to help give your water a little kick and flavor. Plus your kids will love the extra pop of color it adds to their water bottles. And of course, ditch the soda, sports drinks and energy drinks. They are generally loaded with sugar and are a contributor to childhood obesity.
- Teach our Kids the Benefits of Eating Colorful Foods. Children love bright colors and that can come in handy when trying to teach them about new foods. Red, orange, blue and green foods all have their own nutritional attributes including phytochemicals and are a great source of nutrients for both you and your little ones. Try to get our children accustomed to eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. This will set them up for a lifetime of healthy eating habits that will help them combat diseases including obesity for years to come.
A well-timed snack can even out spikes in hunger and provide a much-needed energy boost between meals. Snacks can keep younger children from getting so hungry that they become cranky, and they can keep older kids from overeating at larger meals.
Snacking is important for children because their smaller stomachs fill up fast and they burn energy quickly. Between meals, snacks give their growing bodies the nutrients and hydration they need. Younger children will need a morning and afternoon snack.
Many children graze throughout the day enjoying a never-ending snack time.Snacks are good for kids because they help them stay focused at school and on homework, give them needed nutrients and keep hunger at bay. To lots of kids and teens, a snack is a bag of chips, some cookies or some other low-nutrient food. Let’s switch it up a little with:
- Mixed nuts. Nuts are an ideal nutritious snack.
- Red bell pepper with guacamole. Red bell peppers are extremely healthy.
- Greek yogurt and mixed berries.
- Apple slices with nut butter.
- Cottage cheese with flax seeds and cinnamon.
- Celery sticks with cream cheese.
- Kale chips.
- Dark chocolate and almonds.
Multi-Vitamin: Providing adequate vitamins and minerals for optimal health is paramount for the promotion of healthy growth and development in children. A daily multivitamin and micronutrient supplement ensures adequate intake of all the important nutrients required for the highly active lifestyles of the growing child. Supplementing will promote the development of healthy bone and connective tissue, brain and cognitive function, immune, cardiovascular, and energy-production systems.
Fish Oils: Omega‑3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) play a vital role in the healthy development and functioning of the brain and central nervous system in infants and children. Numerous human observational and clinical trials support a link between childhood neurodevelopmental and immune disorders with a deficiency of dietary EPA and DHA. Supplementation of DHA as well as EPA is critical to support optimal neurocognitive, neurobehavioural, and immune function throughout childhood.
Probiotics are dietary microbial mixtures that beneficially affect the host by improving intestinal microbial balance. Certain strains have demonstrated the ability to alleviate acute diarrhea, inflammatory bowel diseases, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as the ability to increase the body’s natural resistance to infectious diseases of the intestinal tract and upper respiratory tract.
On a final note, we all love our kids. We are all doing the best we can to support them physically and emotionally. Keep up the great work! You got this.
If you find that your child may benefit from a nutritional assessment, I work with many kids to help them improve their diet and in turn improve digestion, better moods, reduce anxiety, improve concentration, support emotional distress, clear complexions and so much more. I’m happy to help, just book a discovery call and we can chat.
Have a great first day back!
This program is designed with kid-focused solutions & resources to support our little one’s growth and development: physically, mentally, and emotionally. The program comes from functional medicine and a naturopathic type approach so all of the issues that we parents are facing today in modern life are addressed.