Healtheries Back to School Tips

Healtheries Back to School Tips

Author -  Nutritionist Emma Baldwin

February means back to school for many families, and this whole change in routine from “holiday mode” back to a normal school schedule can be difficult for kids and parents alike. You can help your children to get back into the swing of things (and preserve your own sanity while you’re at it) by following some of the below tips from the Healtheries team.


SCHOOL LUNCHES For school aged children, the lunchbox makes up a significant part of the diet and should be seen as a way to boost your child’s intake of important nutrients. School lunches should provide a good mix of the major food groups, with at least some fresh fruit and/or veges. Get kids involved in preparing their lunches the night before with ingredients they actually like. Older children can cut up cheese or veges, make salads, or hard- boil eggs. Younger ones can help to make their sandwiches with supervision, and choose their preferred healthy options from a selection you provide. 

 

Below are some of our favourite healthy and easy lunchbox ideas!

  • Cut fresh fruit into colourful combinations and shapes and thread onto toothpicks for a fresh fruit kebab.
  • Frozen pottles of yoghurt will be deliciously slushy for school and also help keep the rest of the lunchbox foods cool (look for lower sugar yoghurt varieties).
  • Get into some weekend baking or bliss- ball- making with the kids. Preparing their own food is not only fun and interactive, it will also help to keep you all fed for the busy week ahead. http://www.healtheries.co.nz/blog-results/pumpkin-and-chocolate-muffins http://www.healtheries.co.nz/blog-results/chocmint-balls
  • An assortment of fresh vegetables, including carrot, celery pieces, cherry tomatoes and a few cheese cubes. Little pieces make for fun and easy eating. These can also be served with cottage cheese or hummus. http://www.healtheries.co.nz/blog-results/roasted-pumpkin-hummus
  • Grainy crackers served with cheese slices, hummus or cottage cheese.
  • Hard boiled eggs are a source of protein to help keep small tummies satisfied.
  • Mini sandwiches, cut into triangles with assorted salad and meat fillings or spreads. Opt for high fibre varieties over white bread. You can also use rolls, wraps or pita pockets to keep things interesting.
  • Fruit loaf, or a fruit & nut muesli bar cut into smaller pieces – these are energy dense so by cutting into smaller pieces children can nibble on them throughout the day. http://www.healtheries.co.nz/blog-results/oaty-slice-with-milk-chocolate-drizzle
  • Fluids - it is so important to keep your child well hydrated, and not only during the summer season. Water, with a dash of fruit juice or squeeze of lemon are refreshing and healthy options for children.
  • It’s OK to include some better- for- you packaged treats such as Healtheries KidsCare Potato Stix or Rice Wheels.

 

Healtheries KidsCare Rice Wheels are made from rice and puffed not fried. A healthier treat option containing 65% less fat than regular potato chips. Rice Wheels are low in sugars with less than 1g per serve. These tasty savoury snacks are free from wheat, gluten, contain no added MSG and are made with no artificial colours or preservatives.

Healtheries KidsCare Potato Stix contain 50% less fat than regular potato chips and are low in sugars with less than 1g per serve, making them a great alternative to sugar laden lunchbox fillers. These tasty snacks are made with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and no added MSG.

Healtheries KidsCare Snacking

 

 

Other Back to School Tips:

 

BREAKFAST Don’t underestimate the importance of a good morning meal for school kids. Teachers consistently report better attention, performance and interest in learning from children who’ve eaten breakfast. Make sure your kids cover off a good range of the four food groups: grains, milk & milk products, fruit & vegetables and lean meat and alternatives, to provide a good source of carbs, protein and fat. Cereals and milk, scrambled eggs on toast or a fruit smoothie (try adding some Healtheries Ground LSA for extra fibre) are all simple and nutritious options.


EXERCISE Experts recommend children and young people do at least 1 hour of moderate or vigorous physical activity each day, be it at home, at school or over the weekend. This physical activity helps to build strong muscles, bones and joints, support balance and flexibility as well as build self- confidence and social skills among other things. Walking or cycling to school (if possible) is a great way to start the day.


SCREEN TIME Recent research suggests that when it comes to setting rules around screen time, much like the foods we eat, it may be more a case of quality over quantity. In other words, it may not necessarily be the amount, but more the nature of the screen time and how devices are used that matters. Use of digital and social media can create opportunities for early learning, exposure to new ideas and knowledge, increased opportunities for social contact and provide a fun and creative outlet for young people. So rather than counting your child’s screen time, perhaps have a think about what they are consuming (watching, playing or reading) ‘Digital Nutrition’ and ensure that this is of high quality, age appropriate and safe. Getting involved in the digital world with your child also appears to be important for young children.


HOMEWORK Set clear expectations around homework. Talk with kids about how much homework they’re likely to have each day, and when and where they’d prefer to do it. Create an after- school schedule that incorporates a snack, relaxation, play and study. Once you know where they’ll be doing their homework, set that space up to optimise focus for them. That means having the TV off and any game consoles away, and having a container with all the supplies they’re likely to need (pens, pencils, erasers, etc.) easily at hand.  


SLEEP Get your child back into a good sleep routine before school goes back. It’s normal for children to stay up a little later over the holiday period, but remember they will need to get up at a set time once school starts. Ideally, in the last week of the holidays, make sure they go to bed earlier to let their bodies adjust. Experts recommend that school- aged children get between 9- 11 hours of sleep each night. So agree a week day bedtime with them, and then set an alarm or notification to go off 30 minutes beforehand.


References:

Benefits of Eating Breakfast for Students. SF Gate. Nov 2018. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-breakfast-students-7697.html

Activities for children and young people. Ministry of Health. Feb 2018. https://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/food-activity-and-sleep/physical-activity/being-active-everyone-every-age/activities-children-and-young-people

How much screen time is too much for kids? It’s complicated. The Guardian. May 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/may/31/how-much-screen-time-is-too-much-for-kids-parents-advice-children-digital-media

How much sleep do you really need? Sleep Health Foundation. Oct 2011. https://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/public-information/fact-sheets-a-z/how-much-sleep-do-you-really-need.html

 
 
 
 
 
 

© All Rights Reserved