Preparing your kids for the new school year with these healthy tips – By: Mayson Marshall, nutraMetrix Program Coordinator
As we move towards a new school year most parents are thinking about ways to prepare for the first day of school, such as school supplies, meeting the teacher and what their child is going to wear, but have you thought about what your child is going to eat throughout the day? We’re here to help!
How much should your child be eating?
Caloric intake for a child is strictly based off their growth and activity level; elementary aged students should be taking anywhere from 1200-2000 calories, while middle and high school students should be taking in anywhere from 1800-3200 calories daily. (1) As already mentioned, it is important to remember that caloric intake is specific to an individual’s gender, size, age, and activity level.
What are foods your child should be eating?
Nutrient Dense Foods:
Children who eat a nutritious diet regularly tend to have better growth and development as well as focus, behavior, and energy throughout the school day.
What Are Foods/Drinks Kids Should Avoid?
- Foods and Drinks High in Sugar
- Processed Foods
- Limit Sodium Intake
- Limit Saturated Fats and Trans Fats
- Artificial Flavors
Examples of Foods Kid’s Should Avoid:
- Frozen Meals/ Pre-Packaged Foods
- Fast Food
- Baked Goods (donuts, cookies, sugary snacks)
These foods do not need to be omitted entirely from a child’s diet but having regularly should be avoided as it can lead to obesity at a young age and increase the risk of diabetes and other health problems.
Lunch and Snack Ideas:
- A Protein with a Vegetable.
- Sandwich or Wrap on Whole Wheat or Whole Grain Bread.
- Pasta Salad (consists of veggies and can even add chicken).
- Tuna Packets/Cans.
- Cucumbers and Carrots
- Peanut Butter Crackers
- Cheese Sticks/Cubes
- Greek Yogurt
- Pepperonis or Jerky
- Hard Boiled Eggs
- Grain Free Tortilla Chips and Crackers
- Whole Grain Popcorn