Summer is already coming to an end …
Yes, it’s unfortunate, but new challenges await your little ones for the start of the school year! As our lives often feel like a marathon, planning is key to be effective! First off, remember that eating nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks every day keeps your kids healthy and helps them stay awake in school. Keep in mind these basic nutrition principles to help your children perform to their full potential in their day.
1. Avoid morning fasting
When waking up, your child will not have eaten for several hours. It’s no surprise that breakfast is often considered the most important meal of the day. Why ?
- It gives the energy and nutrients essential for growth and proper development. Children who do not eat breakfast cannot always compensate for the nutrients present at lunch.
- According to several studies, skipping breakfast can decrease memory, concentration and academic performance, as well as induce fatigue (1-2-3).
- A balanced breakfast includes foods from grain products, fruits and vegetables, and protein sources.
Here are some simple ideas:
- Toasted whole grain English bagel or muffin with a slice of cheese and an egg, served with an orange.
- Greek yogurt and berry smoothie with a handful of nuts and seeds.
- Scrambled eggs with salsa in a tortilla with a glass of milk.
- Whole grain cereal with milk, blueberries or bananas.
- Toast with peanut butter and jam, half a banana and a glass of soy beverage.
2. Successful lunch box
To be more successful in consuming the foods you put in your child’s lunchbox, involve them in planning their own! Kids love to choose, as long as the nutritious choices are available!
- Encourage him to make a list of his favorite foods from each of the food groups and take him to the grocery store.
- Varying only the kind of bread, spread or protein, for example in a sandwich, allows him to discover a whole new dish!
- Discuss their food preferences, such as vegetables and fruits, and vary their cut, cooking, shape, etc.
- Go for the color !
- Plan more snacks rather than not enough … the child’s appetite varies from day to day, so you need to be ready and have all kinds of snacks on hand: homemade peanut-free muffins and bars, yogurts, small cheeses, crackers high in fiber, raw vegetables and hummus, cut fruit, etc.
Have a good start!
- Kleinman RE, Hall S,et al.Diet, breakfast, and academic performance in children. Ann Nutr Metab. 2002;46 Suppl 1:24-30
- Rampersaud GC, Pereira MA, et al. Breakfast habits, nutritional status, body weight, and academic performance in children and adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc. 2005 May;105(5):743-60; quiz 761-2
- Wesnes KA, Pincock C, et al. Breakfast reduces declines in attention and memory over the morning in schoolchildren. Appetite. 2003 Dec;41(3): 329-31.