Summer’s passed, now it’s back to class: Top tips to keep your schoolies on track this new academic year
After a long summer, it’s now time for school to start again. Back to school marks another chance to kick start your schoolie’s healthy eating habits. Nutrition plays a vital role in all children’s growth and development, so it’s important to get it right.
Check out our Ten Top Tips:
1. Eat plenty of ‘Brain Food’
For your children’s brains to work at their best they need plenty of energy. The ability to concentrate and focus comes from a steady supply of energy.1 Making sure your kids get plenty of iron will help their cognitive development too. You can find plenty of iron in meat, beans, nuts and wholegrains.2
2. Get your schoolie involved
Children are more likely to keep to a healthy lifestyle if it’s fun. Getting your schoolies’ involved in the cooking has some surprising benefits:3
- Emotional development: Cooking can teach your children patience and the importance of giving and sharing, for example baking gifts as presents for other people.
- Language development: Getting your kids to describe all the ingredients smells and tastes, as well as encouraging to use timing words, such as then and next, will help to improve their vocabulary and language skills.
- Number recognition: When measuring, weighing and sorting out the ingredients your kids will improve their number recognition and counting.
3. Make sure they get their 5-a-day
Fruit and veg are brilliant ways to get lots of nutrients into your children’s diets. One portion is roughly a handful – theirs, not yours! Don’t forget that frozen and tinned fruit and veg counts towards their 5-a-day, and so do unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies, however only one glass of fruit juice counts towards their 5-a-day. (You can find a delicious smoothie recipe here).
4. Keep them active
Kids need to do at least 60 minutes of activity a day to keep them healthy.4 This doesn’t just have be sport, it can be running around outside, cycling to the park and walking to and from school or a friend’s house (it it’s walkable).
5. Breakfast is the important meal of the day
Eating a healthy breakfast is a great way to start the day. Wholegrain, fortified cereals and toast are an easy, healthy option. Why not add some chopped fruit or a glass of unsweetened fruit juice to start their 5-a-day. You could also try out Strawberry Sunrise Surprise or PaediaSure Shake Pancakes for breakfast one day this week!
6. Eat together as much as possible
Kids like to copy other people’s behaviours, they pick up things quickly especially from their parents, siblings and friends. So, when they see other people eating lots of different, healthy foods they are more likely to start doing the same.
7. Make smart snack choices
Try and switch out snacks like crisps, sweets and biscuits for healthier options such as fresh or dried fruit, breadsticks with hummus, unsalted nuts or unflavoured popcorn. Our homemade dips are a delicious afterschool snack for your child, you can find the recipe here.
8. Create a mealtime routine
Routines provide some structure, so why not try to organise your day around three regular mealtimes and two small snacks. They are less likely to make unhealthy food choices this way!
9. Plate up kid-sized portions
Make sure the portion you give your kids is right for their size and not the same amount you give yourself. It’s healthier to give them a smaller portion to being with and allow them to have seconds if they’re still hungry.
10. Give PaediaSure Shake a try
PaediaSure Shake is a complete and balanced kid’s drink. It is packed with 26 different vitamins and minerals; helping to provide all the nutrients your kids need as they grow and develop. PaediaSure Shake is designed to be used alongside a balanced, healthy diet. It can work well as an after-school snack.
- BBC Good Food, 2017: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower Accessed 8th August 2017
- NHS Choices, 2017: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vitamins-minerals/Pages/Iron.aspx Accessed 8th August 2017
- BBC iWonder, 2017: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z2xmtfr Accessed 8th August 2017
- NHS Choices, 2015: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/childhealth6-15/Pages/Get-children-involved-inbeing-healthy.aspx Accessed 8th August 2017