Back to School with Proper Nutrition

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Going back to school can be a stressful time for many children. Having the proper nutrition in their body and brain can help reduce this stress.

Sending your children off to school with a good breakfast is one of the best ways to make sure they will be able to do their best in school.

Food provides nutrients without which our body and/or brain will under function or not work at all. A good breakfast contains a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. A good breakfast does not include sugar, refined white flour products like dry cereals, fats, caffeine, or soft drinks. These nutrient-less foods and snacks can rob the body of nutrients and make children less able to withstand stress, pay attention, or concentrate. The B vitamins are essential for keeping people strong under stress and these so-called foods also rob your body of B vitamins, so does extreme exercise, stress, and going without eating. B vitamins are in whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and nutritional yeast.

A candy bar or any highly sweetened snack foods or breakfast foods are not a good meal or snack any time of the day for anybody. It can throw off blood sugar levels and that means energy highs and lows.  High sugar foods can rob the B vitamins that help with stress. (I can’t say this enough!)

A simple and easy breakfast solution would be to give them the Sunrider® VitaShake®. VitaShake is a whole food powder made with concentrated herbs, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This phytonutrient-rich breakfast shake contains high-quality soy protein, much like super concentrated tofu. But it tastes like cocoa or strawberry. Two tastes children love. It’s so quick and easy even children as young as 8 or 9 can make their own breakfast with VitaShake. Most parents know that when children help with meal preparation or make their own breakfast, it’s a sure way to get them to eat it. Include your family in shopping, menu planning, and meal preparation.

Sunrider Sunbar®Snacks of unroasted nuts and seeds, baby carrots, apple slices, oranges, and dried fruits can be great snacks to provide energy. If your children can’t or won’t eat these natural foods you can send them to school with the great tasting SunRider® Herbal Foods like Nu Puffs® or a SunBar®. These pre-wrapped wholesome snacks are great choices for school or after-school snacks. And they can help themselves to these nutrient-rich snacks after school, just put them in a snack bowl for easy grab and go healthy snacks any time.

Research has shown that children who eat breakfast, and nutritious meals and snacks every day do better in school, sleep better at night, and in many cases, get the highest grades in the class.

The new Food Pyramid suggests that to be healthy adults need to eat 6-10 servings of vegetables and fruits a day, most of them fresh. Are you providing this for your family? Here is a healthy food guide that your children will understand. Print it and post it on your refrigerator.

If you find that your children don’t want to eat the vegetables at meal times, then have snacks of fresh vegetables and fruits, ready to eat in the refrigerator. Who said we had to eat all the veggies and fruits just at meal times? A great idea would be to make some little snack baggies of assorted snacks once a week and let the children help assemble them. Don’t forget to wash hands thoroughly and wear plastic gloves if you have them. Put the snacks in special containers in the fridge or cupboard and label them ‘snacks’ and let your family help themselves.

Here are some healthy snack suggestions:

  • Unsalted nuts and seeds like sunflower, pumpkin, walnut, cashew, pecan, and almonds
  • Baby carrots (they can often be found already packaged as snack sized treats)
  • Veggie sticks of raw zucchini, jicama, carrot, celery, green beans, broccoli stems, cauliflower
  • Nori snacks available in the health food or Asian  section of grocery stores
  • Dried veggie chips, often sold in bulk in health food stores
  • Lettuce rollups, lettuce leaves spread with nut butter and rolled up
  • Naked organic popcorn (no salt or butter added)
  • Apple slices dipped in a bit of lemon water and sealed up to keep fresh
  • Grapes and almonds
  • Natural cheese cubes or prewrapped grab and go string or cheddar cheese
  • Sealed  natural fruits like apple sauce in individual containers
  • Unsweetened dairy, soy, or coconut milk yogurt
  • Individual servings  of hummus and whole grain pita chips
  • Kale chips
  • Whole grain pretzels or pita chips
  • Nu Puffs
  • Sunbars

If you want your children to do well in school and succeed, start by giving them a good breakfast and nutritious snacks.