Posted on 08-21-2012
The new school year is here, and it’s important to help your child understand the value of healthy eating habits.
As a parent, you should plan ahead to ensure that your child starts the day with a healthy breakfast. Studies have shown that a balanced breakfast every day can boost your child’s brainpower, helping them perform better in school. Here we offer some suggestions for nutrient-rich breakfasts to start the day out right:
- Provide wholesome carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables. These foods will fuel your child’s body with energy throughout the school day. More veggies the better for fiber to keep them full longer!
- Incorporate lean protein to build and maintain muscles for growing children. Good sources of protein include eggs, reduced-fat cheese or even peanut butter on whole grain toast.
A well-balanced lunch is equally important for your child’s health. Teach your child to find nutritious options from the school lunch menu or even better: pack a lunch more often! If you prefer to pack a lunch, you should involve your child in the decision making so they can learn good habits. It can be as simple as taking your child to the grocery store to pick out their daily sources of protein, whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Use the opportunity to teach reasons for healthy eating.
When the school day ends, provide your child with a small snack to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. Healthy snacks are an important source of calories for growth and development and can help provide additional nutrients such as calcium and fiber. As a helpful reminder, an afternoon snack is not a meal and should be kept under 200 calories each day. Nutritious and fun snack ideas include:
- One Smart Pop mini bag popcorn and a light Babybel cheese
- Low-fat string cheese and a small piece of fruit
- One Bean and Guacamole Roll-Up
- Peanut butter with a sliced apple
Parents are their child’s most influential teacher and best role model for healthy behaviors. Eating healthy meals as a family sets the example for children on properly fueling your body. These healthy habits are a collaborative approach to achieve a better long-term lifestyle for you and your kids!
Have a blessed day!
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