Send Kids Back to School With Good Nutrition
time again and children have got it bad, the "back to school blues."
Parents can make the transition easier on their kids by beginning the
school year with good nutrition habits. Nutrition and learning go
hand-in-hand and kids who are nutritionally fit are more likely to have
the energy, stamina and self-esteem that enhance their ability to learn
and be active, according to the American Dietetic Association (ADA).
The following "study tips" can help ensure a successful school year for your children.
Start kids out with a healthy breakfast. For children and teens a morning meal is especially important.
to 12 hours without a meal or snack, a child's body needs fuel,"
according to Althea Zanecosky, a Philadelphia, Penn., registered
dietitian and spokesperson for the ADA. "Breakfast prepares children to
meet the challenges of learning.
skippers often feel tired, irritable or restless in the morning, but
those who regularly eat a morning meal have a better attitude towards
school and have more energy by late morning, research reveals.
"Kids who eat
breakfast tend to have more strength and endurance, and better
concentration and problem-solving ability," Zanecosky commented.
only has a significant effect on learning, it also may help control
weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, studies suggest.
eaters are less likely to be ravenously hungry for mid-morning snacks
or lunch and they tend to eat less fat during the day too," Zanecosky
Don't let kids use the excuse of not being hungry. Even eating a small breakfast can help restore needed fuel for the morning.
breakfast fun by planning it with your child; decide who prepares what
and work together to get it done," Zanecosky said. "If your child
doesn't like traditional breakfast foods, don't worry — breakfast
can be any food they like, even a slice of pizza."
The kinds of
foods kids eat for breakfast can make a big difference in energy
levels. When a breakfast consists mostly of sugary foods, such as
fruit, fruit juice, candy or pop, a quick rise in blood sugar occurs,
causing a rush of energy. After about an hour, blood sugar and energy
decline, bringing on symptoms of hunger. A balanced breakfast,
consisting of foods containing carbohydrate, sugar, protein and fat,
gives a constant release of energy, delaying symptoms of hunger for
quick-to-fix foods on hand or get breakfast foods ready the night
before, if time is an issue. Breakfast cereal, bagels, toaster waffles,
yogurt, canned and fresh fruit, juice, milk, cheese and cottage cheese
are all good options. Or, bring your breakfast with you: a carton of
yogurt; a bagel spread with peanut butter; or grapes, crackers and
nourishes at every age and stage in a child's life and proper nutrition
is crucial for social, emotional and psychological development.
Teaching children how to eat healthy will enable them to establish a
foundation of good nutrition and healthful lifestyle habits," according
For more information on back to school nutrition, visit ADA's Web site at www.eatright.org.