A healthy diet is a major factor when it comes to learning, as well as the way a child behaves in and out of the classroom.
They need lasting energy, not a sugar high.
Proper hydration, not a can of caffeine
And real, whole foods, not fake and processed junk.
Give them the nutrients they need to concentrate, with plenty of energy left over for after school activities.
1. Eat a hearty breakfast.
- A bowl of whole grain cereal (watch for sugar content and sodium,) with milk of choice, sliced banana and blueberries.
- Oatmeal or Cream of Wheat with milk, raisins and a pinch of brown sugar
- Whole grain toast with nut butter and banana slices
- Whole wheat wrap with scrambled eggs and 1 oz of cheese
- Whole wheat waffles,french toast, or pancakes with fresh fruit and dollop of yogurt.
- Greek or Non Fat Yogurt with sliced strawberries, granola, and cinnamon. Make it into a parfait to look more kid friendly.
- Cottage cheese with melon and a side of wheat toast
- Scrambled eggs with toast and turkey bacon
- A smoothie made with any frozen fruits, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2-1 cup water or milk, raw oats and ice.
2. An afternoon pick me up
- Carrot sticks or an apple with nut butter
- Cucumber and Hummus
- Frozen grapes with yogurt
- Ants on a log
- Pirate Booty or popchips
- Dried fruit
- Whole grain crackers and string cheese
- Graham crackers with banana slices and peanut butter
- Trail mix: whole grain cereal, dried fruit, dark chocolate chips, pretzels.
Try to stick to water, milk, and fresh fruit juices with no added sugars.
3. A legitimate lunch
- Boars head low salt turkey, cheese,and mustard sandwich. Side of baby carrots, and a small fruit salad.
- Whole grain pasta salad with tomatoes, peppers and hardboiled eggs. Side of berries and dark chocolate chips.
- Nut butter and jelly on a whole wheat wrap. Side of apple slices with yogurt for dipping.
- Ham and cheese roll ups with a side of cherry tomatoes, bell pepper sticks, and an orange.
- Almond butter and dried cranberries on whole wheat. Side of carrot and celery sticks.
- Tuna salad made with 1 Tbsp Greek yogurt, a pinch of black pepper and chopped celery, rolled onto a whole wheat wrap with lettuce and tomato. Side of grapes.
Use Tupperware that has separate compartments for convenience and fun!
4. Have an active afternoon
- Ride bikes
- Get them involved in sports
do NOT allow video and computer games to take over the rest of the their day.
5. A helping hand
Allow your kids to help you make dinner. This will teach them how to create healthy balanced meals, which they will later create on their own.
Think lean proteins, veggies,healthy fats, and complex carbs
6. Early to bed, Early to rise
Make sure your students get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. We all know how hard it is to concentrate when exhaustion strikes!
Set an example, and show your kids how important, and delicious, healthy foods can be.
Remember, they are what they eat, so give them the tools they need to succeed.
Here is a great article from the Chicago Tribune that talks more about this topic.