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Getting Through the School Day

healthy-lunch-kid

By Lucy Marinelli.

School is back in full swing and the kids are busy, well, being kids. The weather’s warm, they want to play with their mates and as a result they can simply forget to eat, or are simply not interested. You’ll also need to remember that while you may choose healthy options for their meals, as they get older they like to eat what their friends are eating. And that’s not always going to be the healthiest option. Best to keep those parts of their diet you have more control over simple, healthy and tasty.

Keeping school snacks and lunches simple is the way to go. Something that they can pick at rather than have to sit and tediously eat is often a good way to ensure they get the nutrients they need to make it through the school day. Hydration plays a huge part in concentration so make sure your children have their own bottle of water on hand and encourage them to sip from it throughout the day. It’s a good idea to make sure the food they eat will help with hydration, especially in the warmer months. So look at adding slices of apple, a couple of small plums, pear slices, or even some chunks of watermelon. Keep fruit cool in their lunchboxes by adding a small drink bottle with frozen water, which they can later drink or use one of the new lunchboxes on the market that include a cooler section. Just make sure, if you have filled a lunchbox with juicy fruit, that it seals well to avoid school bag leakages! After-school snacks can go a long way to picking up slumping energy after a long day – just think of the 3pm ‘hunger pangs’ to which most adults succumb. No one wants an overtired grumpy child in the evening and at bedtime and by preparing a small, healthy snack to replenish their supplies, children have the energy to get through to bedtime.

A very quick and easy snack for cooling down on a hot afternoon is an old favourite: frozen grapes. Grapes are currently available in abundance and will keep well in the freezer for a long while. Not that they will last that long. If my house is anything to go by, they’ll be eaten well before their use-by-date. All you need to do is wash the grapes, pluck them from their stalks and put them in the freezer in small bags or containers. Freezing them in serving sizes is helpful for quick and easy access. Put them in freezer first thing in the morning and they will be ready for the afternoon – or freeze them at their freshest when you get home from shopping and have them ready for the week.

Just ten grapes will supply nine percent of their vitamin C and K requirements as well a small percentage of several of the B vitamins and vitamin A. Grapes also contain such minerals as potassium, magnesium, manganese and iron. So a good all round healthy snack.

This article was written by Lucy Marinelli and kindly submitted by our friends at Alfalfa House who first published it into their  e-news in 2008. Alfalfa House is a Sydney organic food co-op located in Newtown. To find out more about Alfalfa House and their delicious range of fresh organic produce and other minimally packaged and processed food visit www.alfalfahouse.org

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Aug 30, 2010 | Category: Food and Nutrition, Health and Beauty | Comments: none | Tags: , , ,

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