SPONSORED | 8.7.15 | by Terra Wellington
As the summer starts winding down, millions of children and teens get ready to go back to school. While most of us plan ahead for clothes, school supplies, and books, how many parents plan ahead for an important decision that children must make every day at school: what do I eat today? The alarming increase of childhood obesity during the past few decades indicates that the choices made were perhaps not always the best ones. But we love the idea that nutrition begins at home. And the easiest way to ensure your kids not only eat healthy but also learn about eating healthy is getting them involved. We have some easy back to school healthy eating tips for you on how to get your kids into nutrition — and enjoy it!
Read on for easy back to school healthy eating tips ⬇
This post contains sponsored links from Welch’s 100% Grape Juice and GladWare.
How do we develop healthy eating and snacking habits in our kids?
Start early. Studies show that the habits we start when we’re young often carry into adulthood. So, while we prepare our children to succeed in the classroom, we also need to prepare them for success with what they eat.
- Bring them shopping with you.
- Help kids to learn to read labels.
- Try different types of foods – especially fruits and veggies – and different ways to get them in like with a healthy beverage choice such as Welch’s 100% Grape Juice. Each 4-ounce glass has 1 serving of fruit with no added sugar, color or flavor
- Kids also love to interact with their food – so bring your children into the kitchen.
A fun idea is to get them involved with their afternoon snack. Here is a recipe for Concord Grape Gummies made with 100% Grape Juice – which is a great way to get the heart-health benefits of the Concord grape. The juice is made by crushing the whole grape – skin, seeds, and all – to release healthy plant nutrients straight from the grape into the juice.
And when you get children cooking, you tie in math with measurements and temperatures – another way to take the learning even further!
What about making sure they have a healthy lunch when they’re at school?
If you pack your child’s lunch, you can at least know that what you’re sending to school is healthy.
But, because lunch is often is packed without the child’s input, it might fail. For example, you pack a healthful lunch, but instead your child gets to school, trades your banana for a mini candy bar, eats some of a friend’s chips, buys a soda, and then throws the rest of your lunch away.
So instead, make a lunch plan for the next day at after-school snack time – but WITH your child’s input. You can pick fruits and veggies for every day of the week and pack them up in GladWare containers, that keep food fresh and your food waste down.
Plus the company has limited-edition Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles designed containers to give kids the ultimate school cool cred! Not to mention they’re easy cleanup for me and are microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe.
And these containers are cost efficient, so if your child happens to leave them behind or lose them, it won’t break your budget.
How can you make breakfast the most important meal?
According to a HealthyChildren.org report, 8-to-12 percent of elementary-age kids skip breakfast, which doesn’t sound like a large number. But, by high school, that number rises to 20 to 30 percent. Breakfast really is the most important meal. It jumpstarts your body in the morning, especially if you choose a healthy breakfast
Here are some quick ideas for a healthy breakfast —
- Include protein like low-fat milk, low-fat/low-sugar greek yogurt, soy milk, a breakfast burrito with beans and eggs, or old-fashioned peanut butter on toast
- Eat whole grains – like whole grain toast, or cereal with high fiber and whole grains (not your laden kind), or low-fat/low-sugar granola with yogurt
- Add in a serving or two of fruit
You can have it all grab and go – the cereal, the yogurt, the fruit.
And avoid coffee and energy drinks for kids – because caffeine raises blood pressure and heart rate in teenagers.
Kids that eat breakfast tend to have a more healthy weight – because then, when they eat lunch, they are more moderate about what they eat because they ate breakfast. You want to teach your children moderation and healthy eating.
Should I care about recess and PE for my kids?
Yes! And, we recently wrote about a study at the University of North Florida that found you can improve your working memory by 50 percent by doing short bursts of exercise that also required a task.
- Climbing in trees and on play equipment is a really great way to do that for your kids.
- Yoga with a DVD to follow along for playtime.
- A balance beam and gymnastics also does it.
And these types of exercise also help to improve kids’ mood and help ADHD kids.
Ask your child’s school what types of breaks, PE, and recess is available – because physical activities and breaks have more benefits than just for the muscles – they are also good for your child’s mind and social interaction as well.
What snacking and healthy eating ideas are a success in your family?
Let us know in the comments below ⬇