Wednesday, August 05, 2015

When school starts, think nutrition

Food choices can slack off or change in summer--state fair grub, barbecue every night, ice cream, sugary drinks (hey, it's hot).

But come school time, parents need to remember that good solid nutrition is necessary for brain functioning and energy.

Now is the time to segue to fall food choices, says a nutritionist at Cincinnati Children's. Reboot good food and sleep habits at least a week before school opens.

The most important thing is a good start. Breakfast. It does not have to be traditional breakfast foods. The important thing is high protein, high fiber, and dairy or dairy substitute.

--Look for whole grain cereals with low fat milk.

--Yogurt and berries with low-fat granola.

--Whole wheat toast, eggs, fruit--kids also like hardboiled eggs.

--PB&J with low fat milk.

--Grilled cheese with 100% fruit juice.

--Whole wheat waffles with fruit and low fat milk.

Lunches are also important--in some places, this is the kid's only real meal of the day. There is a huge controversy over the White House lunch dictates. If your child "brings," this lunch can also be inspected for nutritional value, So keep that in mind.

The best guide is to keep foods varied--kids get locked into certain foods. Have them pack their own lunch--shop for their own items.

If your child has after school activities--he or she will need a boost of nutrition to keep going. Pack nuts, raisins, maybe some popcorn or a whole grain cookie or two.

And don't forget the water.

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