To anyone who has kids, whether you operate a School, Daycare Business, Camp or are a Parent or Legal Guardian – you all know the benefits of giving your kids well-balanced, nutrition filled meals. But do you really know what your kids are eating? Imagine your kids are at school and you give them money to buy lunch in the cafeteria. More often than not, your kids are reaching for that crispy chicken sandwich, burger, chicken nuggets and fries. Not only because everyone else is eating it, but it is also more affordable than buying the salads or wraps they may sell. You yourself know that if you eat fast food or processed foods, you will be hungry again in about an hour and you will also feel tired and sluggish. Imagine how your kids will perform at school if they do not eat foods that are well -balanced.
From personal experience, I could barely stay awake during school after lunch. My school did not offer many healthy food options as they do now and I did not know any better. Schools today have adapted better nutrition policies, but they still seem to sell more fried or processed foods. Every now and then, it won’t hurt you or your kids to eat foods like that! But if you’re in school and have an early lunch period like I did, eating foods that are not very nutritious or filling will make you feel very tired. My grades and performance did suffer because of my diet.
“There are a number of studies showing that improvements in nutrient intake can influence the cognitive ability and intelligence levels of school-aged children. And with less disruptions in class, means better learning environment for all.”(2)
Give your kids’ more nutritious, filling foods that contain high amounts of fiber. Fiber can help your kids stay more focused in class. Studies have shown that if you provide them with better meals, they can retain A-B+ grades. Plus, if they do have an early lunch, you want them to have foods that contain slow digesting nutrients which will help them to feel fuller, longer. Fiber will also keep their G.I tract healthy and will help them have regular bowel movements, which is good for kids who may struggle with upset stomach and constipation issues.
Educating your kids on nutrition is so important! Encourage them to eat healthy foods and snacks. They will feel so good, trust me! If you want some more tips & ideas, follow this Instagram account called Kids.Eat.In.Color on talking with your kids about eating well! She shows great comparisons and really makes it easy and fun! Shown below is an example of her posting.
But this doesn’t just apply in the classroom. Try to make more home cooked meals if you can. Cook with your kids too. Encourage them to help pick out what they want for lunch. The more involved they are, they happier they will be to eat what you give them for lunch. We know that there is no microwave or stoves at school, so coming up with creative and healthy snacks can be hard.
But not to worry, we have two links here for you to try:
Credit for Study done on nutrition: (2) https://healthy-food-choices-in-schools.extension.org/3-ways-nutrition-influences-student-learning-potential-and-school-performance/