It has to fuel an entire afternoon of math, science, PE, and language arts. It keeps your child strong, focused and happy, therefore what you choose and how you pack it does and always will make a difference in your child’s ability to perform well in the afternoon as well as be happy and stay healthy.
With the news reminding us that this year’s flu season could be terrible, it is up to us, the parents, to keep our children healthy by bolstering up their immune system. Even if they still get H1N1 or Strep or just the common cold, they will be better able to fight back and get over it quicker. Make sure your child is getting plenty of Vitamins A, C, D and E everyday along with probiotics (stuff in yogurt) and water. These things will help for sure. The only sure way for your child to do well in school is to be in school. So keep them healthy by providing them with healthy and nutritious meals.
•Pack at least 3 servings of fresh and local fruits and veggies for snacks and lunch. This could look like a piece of fruit with the mid-morning snack and another with lunch along with carrots and celery sticks or a small salad.
•Choose whole grains for breads, pasta and rice dishes. Go brown; avoid the white and the enriched.
•Pack water, water, water. I had a teacher whose saying was, “the solution to your pollution is dilution.” It’s true.
•Include a wet wipe or hand sanitizer for your child to use before and after they eat. 60% of school aged children are not even encouraged to wash their hands before eating…YUCK!
•Pack cold things cold and hot things hot to avoid food borne illnesses. More on Food Safety
•Encourage your school to discontinue handing out candy for rewards. Suggest stickers or old monopoly money to be used to purchase bigger reward prizes later.
•Don’t’ pack soda, candy or sugary treats in lunch boxes. Sugar will lower your child’s immune system making them more susceptible to what is “going around.”
•Don’t pack processed foods and “junk food” as snacks; send real food to encourage real health.
•Don’t pack something for your child you yourself wouldn’t eat for lunch.
•Don’t plan classroom parties around cupcakes, candy and cookies. Be more creative than that and encourage healthier thematic foods. Again, sugar will lower your child’s immune system making them more susceptible to what is “going around.” Think back to last Halloween, how many kids do you know of that got sick within a week to ten days of the class party and the candy fest after trick or treating? Then there was the Thanksgiving party and the winter holiday party, Valentine ’s Day…
Please share your tips and suggestions or ask a question, I am sure one of the fantastic Twitter Moms has a solution to your dilemma.