Wishing the best to all Married Life Team members that are sending their HS and Elementary students back to school tomorrow. It is the start of another busy year for all of us. With homework, special projects, clubs, fund raisers, back to school night etc. Another essential role is feeding our children right during the school year. Below you will find an interesting article:
Eating Healthy Food Aids Learning
From Shereen Jegtvig,
Your Guide to Nutrition.
FREE Newsletter. Sign Up Now!
About.com Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board
Help Your Children Eat Better
Is good nutrition important for good learning? In a word, yes. Research has shown that children who regularly ate breakfast had better standardized test scores, better behavior, and were less hyperactive than children who skipped breakfast. When comparing low glycemic index (GI) breakfasts to high GI breakfasts eaten by 9- to 12-year-old children, research also shows that children who eat high GI breakfasts (sugary breakfasts) tend to eat more at lunch.
Breakfast Is Important
What makes a good breakfast for children? One good example would be an egg, a slice of whole grain toast with nut butter, a piece of fruit and a glass of low-fat milk. Tofu, lean meat and whole grain cereals are also good choices at breakfast. The protein and fiber from the whole grains will keep your child satisfied until lunch time.
Try to avoid giving your child sugary breakfast cereals, white-flour pancakes and syrup -- all of which will leave your child hungry and tired half way through the morning. If your child tends to get hungry in the middle of the morning no matter what, send an apple, whole grain crackers, nuts and cheese snacks rather than sugary cookies or white-flour crackers.
Most schools try to provide nutritious lunches for children, but a tour through your local school's cafeteria might show a lot of junk. Many schools offer fast food, greasy pizzas, French fries and other poor-quality foods alongside the usual lunch selections.
One high school in Appleton, Wisconsin replaced their regular poor-quality school lunches with healthy fresh foods at lunch with water as the main beverage. The changes resulted in improved behavior from the students and zero truancies.
Eating healthy at lunch will help keep your child's mind sharp and ready to learn all afternoon. Convincing schools to change their lunches might take a lot of effort, but there are other things you can do, such as teach your kids the importance of eating nutritious foods. Hopefully with your help they will choose healthier salads and vegetables instead of French fries, and water instead of soda. Another option is to send lunch with your kids. Hearty soups, salads, fruits, and sandwiches with whole grains can all be packed in insulated containers to stay hot or cold.
After School Snacks
Even with a great breakfast and healthy lunch, a light after-school snack is nice to refuel a kid's body before play or study time. A handful of nuts and an apple is perfect, or maybe a snack tray of vegetables and dips. Even a healthy version of a PB & J will satisfy picky kids. Keep chips, sugary sodas, pastries and candy out of the house. As the Oxford study shows, sugary and high glycemic index foods just make kids hungrier.
Life-Long Health Means Good Nutrition
Children who eat healthy foods will be more likely to make better food and nutrition choices as adults. Unfortunately, studies show that the opposite is also true -- overweight children tend to become overweight adults.
Teach your children about healthy foods. Here are some tips to help:
* Read over the different food pyramids and ask your kids to pick out some favorite foods from each food group.
* Have them help you plan a meal that includes a healthy serving of protein, a vegetable or two, and a healthy fruit for dessert.
* For young kids, make a chart to keep track of all the fruits and vegetables they eat (we need at least five servings of fruits and veggies every day).
* Snack time can be more fun if you try different recipes and snack ideas together with your kids.
Teaching your children to how to have a healthy diet will have a bigger impact if you set the example. Eat right, get some exercise, and make a healthy lifestyle a family affair.
Murphy JM, Wehler CA, Pagano ME, Little M, Kleinman RE, Jellinek MS. "Relationship Between Hunger and Psychosocial Functioning in Low-Income American Children." Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, February, 1998.
Warren JM, Henry CJ, Simonite V. "Low Glycemic Index Breakfasts and Reduced Food Intake in Preadolescent Children." Pediatrics, November 2003.
Steinberger J, Moran A, Hong CP, Jacobs DR, Sinaiko AR. "Adiposity in childhood predicts obesity and insulin resistance in young adulthood." Journal of Pediatrics, April 2001.
This About.com page has been optimized for print. To view this page in its original form, please visit: http://nutrition.about.com/od/nutritionforchildren/a/dietandlearning.htm
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10
| Pounds lost: 33.2