Homework for Parents: Stock Your Kitchen with Smart Foods for Kids

Research shows that children who have healthier diets do better in school, in sports and are more likely to excel socially compared to those that are inadequately fueled.  While hunger is still a concern for many of our youth, most of our kids today are overfed and undernourished.

There is one word for kids’ diet: Dismal.

Here are some steps parents can take to ensure that their children have the nutrition they need to be their best.

Don’t Skip the A.M. Meal:  Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.  Making sure kids get a meal that includes three key elements is crucial:

  • A whole grain serving;
  • A serving of low-fat or nonfat dairy; and
  • A fruit serving.
  • (A serving of protein is a bonus)

 

An example is a bowl of whole grain cereal with cup of skim milk and banana or strawberries.

To be a lunch box nutrition hero, lunches should include: 

  • A whole grain serving for energy;
  • A source of protein for staying power;
  • A fruit or veggie for vitamins and fiber; and
  • A nonfat or lowfat dairy serving for the bone-building minerals.

 

An example would be a whole grain wrap made with hummus and variety of veggies; a container of lowfat organic yogurt and a piece of fruit or 100% fruit juice box.

After school snacks are necessary, so follow a few simple guidelines:

  • Make them from a food group, preferably fruit, vegetable or dairy;
  • Limit them to no more than 200 calories;
  • If it’s a grain-based snack make sure it’s whole grain;
  • Strive to have protein with carbohydrate to up the fullness factor.

(ie, peanut butter with apple slices; whole grain crackers with hummus)

Comments

  1. I wish more people would realize how important it is to train their children up in a ‘healthy’ environment, eating healthy foods and learning why it’s important to eat that way.

    Good post.

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