Anja van den Berg
It’s back to school time, and lunchboxes have to be packed. Nutritious food is a critical part of academic development. Contribute to your child’s success by packing wholesome snacks that will not only keep them healthy but also help them concentrate.
Here’s how you can do it:
The body uses water for many functions; dehydration can cause fatigue and headaches.
Milk is packed with calcium and phosphorus – which is beneficial for their growing bones – and provides a healthy dose of protein. If you opt for flavoured milk, choose one with no additives and a very low sugar level.
- Sandwiches bursting with freshness.
For sandwiches, select high-fibre bread with little to no additives and preservatives. Choose margarine and spreads that are rich in Omega 3, which aids brain development. Spread thinly – too much could be harmful. Make sure that the filling is brimming with nutrition – add slices of cheese to line the bread before adding lettuce and tomato.
Nuts are natural power-packs of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, protein and fibre, which help children grow, develop and learn. Raw or dry-roasted and unsalted nuts are the healthiest option. Avoid nuts with added salt or sugar.
Make vegetables so much more appealing by preparing a delicious veggie soup when the weather gets cold. Pack the broth in a wide-necked thermos flask to take to school.
- (Chocolate-dipped) strawberries.
Strawberries are crammed with vitamins, fibre, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols. They are among the top 20 fruits in antioxidant capacity. Strawberries are a good source of manganese and potassium. Strawberries dipped in dark chocolate can contribute to your child’s fruit intake and offer some health benefits due to the nutrients in the chocolate and the berries. However, they should consume this delight in moderation as a treat, and not as a regular part of their diet.
You can help boost your child’s attention span, concentration, and memory by providing breakfast foods that are rich in whole grains, fibre and protein, as well as low in added sugar. If your child is running late some mornings, send along fresh fruit, yoghurt, or half a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Many schools provide nutritious breakfast options before the first bell.
East Coast Radio: https://www.ecr.co.za/lifestyle/food/backtoschool-foods-help-your-child-concentrate-class/
Healthy Eating: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-dark-chocolate-dipped-strawberries-8468.html
Nutrition Australia: https://www.nutritionaustralia.org/national/resource/nuts-health-and-kids