It is time again for book bags and lunch boxes as our little humans are heading back to school.
(Is it just me or did summer just wiz by?)
Some of the first things we think about once the new school year begins are school supplies, first day jitters and all that paperwork coming home after the first day. (Ugh.)
As the grown ups on the scene, we are also taking stock of how much good nutrition our kids are getting on a regular basis. As the gate keepers of the food in our house, us grow ups need to make sure our healthy eating habits are on point... Or at least as close to it as we can get right now.
Back To School time the perfect time to check in with what is going on our plates and our lunch boxes, too.
Our kids' nutrition, whether good or bad, will have a strong impact on their school year and that is another reason to make and maintain healthy eating habits for our kids. In a study published in the Journal of School Health, reports cited show a clear link between eating a healthy diet and higher academic performance. Students who had a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, protein and fiber outperformed students who ate a more processed diet, high in salt, sugar and unhealthy fats (not to be confused with GOOD FATS!)
In an article published in the Chicago Tribune, we are reminded that kids need the right foods, (aka "healthy fuel"), to sustain them throughout the day of learning. Sugar, highly processed foods with unnatural ingredients, food coloring and other unhealthy ingredients should be something we try to reduce and eliminate from our children's diet.
It is not hard to believe that a child who has a diet high in sugar, as most highly processed foods are, finds it harder to concentrate and focus in and out of school. This same child is more likely to have less energy as well. This is all directly linked to academic performance but are also the recipe for increased risk of having one or more chronic disease later on in life.
All of this is preventable. All of this can be turned around with good, healthy food.
Now I can't guarantee a full scholarship to the Ivy League school of your choice courtesy of kale and carrots, but we can all give our kids the best opportunity to achieve academically and beyond by giving them the nutrition they need.
Easier said than done, especially for moms who already have their hands full, right?
As a busy mom with 3 kids myself, I get it.
You don't have to make major changes overnight. In fact, I don't ever recommend that.
Instead I recommend making one or two small changes a week. Keep things simple!.
Here are 3 simple changes you can make to add more wholesome, nutritious foods into your kids' diet:
- Swap out one processed, packaged snack for a piece of fruit. (Psst, it helps to have lots of colorful choices that hang out at eye-level of the young'ens. Just saying.)
- Include one or two fresh veggies in their lunch box. Experiment a little, too! Being a little adventurous led me to discover that 2 favorite things for my kids are raw fennel and raw white mushrooms!
- Encourage your kids to try new things by letting them choose something new from your local fruit and veggie aisle. The first time I ever cooked yucca here at home was when my son (3-years old at the time) just had to try it!
So there you have it! 3 simple ways to continue to improve your kids' diet!
One step at a time, you can make healthy living EASY for you and your family!
(Psst, if you want to connect with other moms on the same mission, check out our FREE ONLINE COMMUNITY, the Real Moms Collaborative!)
Thanks for reading, Momma!
Eat well, be well,