Brain Food: Fueling Your Child’s School Day 

A healthy diet is essential for a child’s success at school as it provides the necessary nutrients for optimal brain function, energy, and concentration. Balanced meals that include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and healthy fats help maintain steady energy levels, enhance cognitive abilities, and improve mood and behavior. Proper nutrition supports overall academic performance, enabling children to fully engage in their learning and achieve their potential.  

Building a Balanced Lunchbox 

Avoid Processed Sugar 

Limiting sugar intake helps promote better overall health and supports optimal growth and development. Research shows that children aged 4-6 should have no more than 19 grams of sugar a day and children aged 7 to 10 should have no more than 24 grams of sugar a day. When children consume foods high in sugar, it can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to bursts of hyperactivity and restlessness. These energy spikes are usually followed by sharp drops, resulting in fatigue, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. This roller-coaster effect can negatively impact their attention span and focus, making it harder for them to stay engaged in school and other activities. Consistent consumption of high-sugar foods can disrupt their ability to maintain steady energy levels and sustain attention throughout the day. 

Nutritious Snack Combinations  

Offering new and interesting combinations of nutrient-rich foods can keep snacking fun for your child while giving them the long-lasting fuel they need to reach their full potential throughout their day. Specifically, when offering natural sources of sugar, like fruits and carbohydrates, it’s beneficial to pair it with protein, healthy fats, or fiber to help slow down the digestion and absorption of this sugar, leading to more stable energy levels and preventing sudden spikes and crashes. Here are some fun and simple snack combinations to try! 

  • Turkey and avocado roll-up 
  • Apples with cheese slices 
  • Plain Greek yogurt and berries with honey 
  • Carrot ‘fries’ with hummus 
  • Banana slices with chia seeds 
  • Snap peas with tzatziki 
  • Peaches with cottage cheese 
  • Celery sticks with cream cheese and raisins (and Ants on a Log variations) 

Providing healthy snacks and lunches is an essential part of supporting your child’s growth, learning, and overall health. By planning balanced meals and involving your child in the process, you can make nutritious eating enjoyable and sustainable. Remember, the habits you help them develop today will benefit them for a lifetime.  

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