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Back-to-School Nutrition Tips

Back-to-School Nutrition Tips

Nutrition and learning… They go hand in hand.
As parents prepare to send their children back to school, the first thing they should worry about is how to fuel the minds and the bodies of their children.
Realizing the important function nutrition plays in promoting a successful year for kids is very crucial; Proper nutrition gives energy, resilience and self esteem which boost their learning ability.
Preparing or at least planning nutritious breakfast, lunch and snacks each day in advance prevents last-minute hassles and wrong choices.

1.Break the fast:
Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day.
•It gives kids more of the nutrients they need by providing energy and essential nutrients for healthy development. Proper breakfast contains nutrients which cannot be compensated by other meals if it is skipped; and thus missed out.
•It promotes healthier body weights, having less likeliness to be overweight. Knowing that breakfast provides most of the energy for the day, when it is missed, it can cause overeating during the day and thus weight gain and for that reason skipping breakfast is an unwise strategy for weight control.
•It supports success in school by enhancing improved memory, better test grades, greater school attendance and better behavior. Subsequently, children who skip breakfast may have trouble concentrating , feel exhausted and have weak muscle coordination.

2.Lunch wise:
Every parent has had a barely touched lunch box returned back to home. It’s a common complaint. The solution is certainly & simply getting your kids involved in planning their own lunch, since it is known that kids who help plan and prepare their lunch are more likely to eat it. Guide your children in packing a lunch which includes at least three of the four food groups (milk, meat, fruits & veggies, bread & cereals). Asking your child to make a list of their favorite foods from nutritious choices is very important, but just make sure you will consider them.

3. Snack smart:
To keep going between meals, children need plenty of snacks to refuel their small stomachs. However, these snacks are to be nutritious and not high in calories, fat or sugar!
Ideal snacks are to provide them energy and important nutrients, for example: ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables, crackers, popcorn, cereal, dried fruits.

To conclude, proper nutrition is crucial for development in social, emotional and psychological aspects. The establishing of a foundation of good nutrition starts with teaching children how to develop healthy eating lifestyle and they will benefit from the latter for the rest of their lives.

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian