7 Success Tips for Back to School Nutrition

by Robin De-Ivy Allen on August 31, 2009 · 1 comment

By Robin De-Ivy Allen

They put certain things in cafeteria food, so I don’t eat their anymore.”

 – Kristen, age 9

It’s the end of August which means, back to school for most children.

This is the perfect time to put new routines in place.

As parents we are responsible for providing a foundation in which our children can thrive and achieve excellence.

One important area we must pay close attention to is the nutritional needs of our children. We live in a time where the consumption of sugar and processed foods are on the rise. Our children are consuming far too many empty calories that do not support healthy growth and development.

Here are 7 Success Tips for “Back to School Nutrition”

  1. Start the day with a power packed breakfast. Research shows that children who regularly eat breakfast have better test scores, better behavior and are less hyperactive than children who skip breakfast. Breakfast could include eggs, whole wheat toast and fruit or a protein smoothie with fruit and yogurt.
  2. Find out what your child is eating at school. Many schools offer fast food and other poor-quality foods alongside the usual lunch selections. Pack nutritious lunches they will enjoy.
  3. Limit the purchase of processed, packaged foods. Begin to read labels; you may be surprised by the sugar, sodium and other additives in the most common foods we bring into the kitchen.
  4. Provide your child with balanced meals that include a protein, a vegetable and a starch.
  5. Check your child’s bowel pattern. It’s critical that they are eliminating daily. If they are not, this is a signal that they are not consuming enough fiber.
  6. Supplement their diet with a multivitamin and mineral.
  7. Be the example. It’s hard to ask our children to embrace eating for nutritional value if we as parents do not.

Following these simple steps will start your child off to a great school year.

About the Author: Robin De-Ivy Allen is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and the founder of Necessary Nutrition, a company dedicated to helping improve the eating habits of millions of people and their families.  She shows her clients how to use food and nutrition to reach their personal and professional goals.  Visit her website at http://www.realpeopleeatrealfood.com/ for a free health profile.

[Editor’s Comments: Our three oldest children all returned to school last week. Yes!!!

Robin is absolutely right about the poor quality of food being offered at some schools. Our 11 and 12 year old are now both in the same middle-school (Junior High you’re from Ohio) and their cafeteria has extremely poor selections.

We’re talking pizza, soft pretzels with imitation cheese, sugar-loaded frozen “slushy” drinks, french fries, and so on.

The worst part is that our kids are embarrassed because we help them pack their lunch each day. We always give them healthy food choices instead of letting them pack processed crap or buy their lunches like most of their friends, and they complain constantly.

There is actually a stigma on the kids that eat healthy as opposed to all of the “normal” kids that eat the processed snacks and cafeteria fast food. The kids that pack fruit, cheese, yogurt and nuts get teased by the other kids.

But we’re still packing their lunch and only letting them buy once in while as a “special treat” or reward for good behavior.

What about your kids and their school? Do you have some of these same issues? Leave us a Comment and let us know…we’d love to hear from you.]

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1 Michele August 31, 2009 at 9:16 am

It is so important for your children to eat right, especially during the school year. I teach and can tell when kids don’t eat breakfast or eat bad foods especially around test times. They are less focused. As a teacher I have to continue my education by taking classes and when I have to take a test even as an adult, I make sure to eat a healthy lunch.

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