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Expert tips to help your kids eat smart

| Healthy You | Eating Right | Kids Health

Group of toddlers eat lunch, smile and laugh

For school-age children, a good breakfast is important

To set your children up for a great school year, make sure their bodies and minds are fueled with the right stuff throughout the day.

Start with a good breakfast

Everyone knows breakfast is important, but for school-age children, it’s even more important to ensure that they have a good breakfast before going to school.

Multiple research studies have shown that children who eat breakfast tend to concentrate and perform better at school compared to those who don’t eat breakfast.

Pack a lunch

Kids get only 20 minutes of lunchtime at school. Packing a lunch saves them from standing in line to wait for their food. Plan a week’s worth of lunch menus to save you time thinking what to pack for the day. Pack their lunch the night before. Have your children get involved or help decide what they want to eat. Think healthy food groups. Make sure to pack a lunch that includes:

  • Grains/whole grains (preferred)
  • Meats or meat alternatives
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit
  • Dairy

Stash a snack

Children are active at school. They often get hungry, and a snack can be handy and prevent them from going to the vending machine for a candy bar or chips.

Lunches don’t have to be cold

When you think of a lunch box, you might automatically think cold lunches (salad, lunch meat, sandwiches). While there’s nothing wrong with cold foods, a hot lunch can be more satisfying. Consider it an option. You can use a thermos to pack hot food or leftovers from dinner. This will open a whole world of selections on the types of food you can make for your kids.