Tag Archives: back to school

Must-Have Back-to-School Nutrients for Kids

must-have back-to-school nutrients for kids

Try these must-have back-to-school nutrients for kids.

This year as the kids head back-to-school, we want to give them every head start that we can. Strong immune systems are always important when heading into a busy school year, but this year they are critical. Today let’s talk about the nutrients that are most important, and which foods you can focus on to get them into your child’s diet every day.

Important Nutrients For Kids

Our kids use every bit of fuel we give their little bodies, and they’re not only using it for energy. Good nutrition is shaping the way they grow, how their minds sharpen and awaken, and how their bodies react to the environment around them. That’s why it’s so important to give them the armor they need to face new challenges when they head back-to-school. Every day, your child should be consuming these essential nutrients, whether it be from the food they eat, or from a combination of food and supplements – such as a chewable multivitamin.

Protein – Is essential for growing bodies, it helps build and repair vital tissues that support organs, bones and muscles. Protein also creates energy and helps the body fight off infection. Good sources of protein include:

  • Lean Meat and Poultry
  • Dairy Products
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and Beans

 Carbohydrates – Your child’s most important source of energy and another vital source for building and repairing their body’s vital tissues. The majority of your child’s carbohydrate intake should come from fiber and starches, rather than sugar. Here are some good sources of carbohydrates:

  • Whole-grain Cereals
  • Brown Rice
  • Whole-grain Breads
  • Fruits

Fats – Good fats help fuel your child’s growing body and brain and help it to absorb the essential nutrients it needs. There are essentially three types of fats:

  • Unsaturated Fat – Healthy fat found in avocados, olives, fish, nuts, etc. You should focus on these fats as your child’s primary source of fat.
  • Saturated Fat – Found in meat and animal products such as butter and full-fat dairy. Use these fats in moderation.
  • Trans fat – Found in processed snack foods, baked goods, and fried fast food. These fats should be avoided as much as possible.

Fiber – Very important for helping to regulate your child’s bowels. Gut health is essential for all of us. A daily probiotic like Multi Probiotic Kids by Douglas Labs can be very beneficial for your back-to-school child, as well as a healthy diet including these high-fiber foods (or fiber supplements):

  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Hummus
  • Lentils and Kidney Beans

Essential Vitamins and Minerals – The remainder of your child’s diet should be filled with vitamin and mineral rich fruit, vegetables and whole grains. These are some of the most important daily nutrients for your growing child to help fight off infection as well as grow the mind and body include:

  • Calcium – low-fat dairy, broccoli, spinach, egg yolks and tofu.
  • Folate – Asparagus, spinach, Brussels sprouts, lentils and black beans.
  • Vitamin A – carrots, broccoli, cabbage, squash, and sweet potatoes.
  • Vitamin C – citrus fruits, strawberries, mangos, melons, potatoes and tomatoes.
  • Iron – red meat, beans, nuts and whole grains.

Help arm your child with the fuel they need to head back to school. What are some of your back-to-school must-haves? Tell us in the comments below!

Back To School Tips For A Successful School Year

Back To School Tips For A Successful School YearBy Susan Brown

Back-to-school stress can affect kids and parents alike.  The hustle and bustle of sending the kids back to school can be overwhelming.  Changing schedules and routines can be difficult.  However, a little preparation and the right attitude can help reduce some of the stress involved.  Here are some tips to help make the transition from a laid back summer schedule to a successful school year:

  • Be positive.  A parent’s attitude has a strong influence on how children view the beginning of school.  Let them know that it’s okay to be a little anxious and don’t dismiss their feelings.  Offer positive feedback such as suggesting that there is a child in their class who wants to be their new friend and ask them how they will figure out who that will be.  Teach children to introduce themselves to help make new friends. 
  • Get back into a solid bedtime routine.  Summer bedtimes are often more flexible.  Keep in mind kids need 10 – 11 hours of sleep so that they are alert and ready to learn.  A week before the first day of school is a good time to begin.  Expect that the children will be tired the first week of school and plan for low-key afternoons to help them adjust. 
  • Create routines.  It’s easier to get out of the house on time in the mornings if you prepare in advance and let the kids know what your expectations are.  Kids need to be shown what to do rather than told what not to do.  Having children involved in the schedule planning helps them feel in charge, creates cooperation, and teaches responsibility.
  • Shop for school supplies together.  Most elementary school teachers will provide a list in advance so that your children have the supplies they need.  Some will provide a list on the first day of school, so other than a few basic supplies, it may be best to wait and see what the teacher requests. 
  • Shop strategically.  Many parents end up over-buying new clothes for school.  Figure out what your children may have outgrown and what they really need before heading to the mall. 
  • Plan ahead.  Designate where backpacks, lunchboxes, shoes, jackets, etc. should be stored and have children put them away themselves.  Kids love to cooperate and you’ll be less stressed when not trying to do it all yourself.  Look for ways to simplify rather than complicate family life. 
  • Plan and shop for healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks a week in advance.  This saves precious time and reduces stress.  Kids can help pack their own lunches and they are more likely to eat what they have chosen themselves. 
  • Prepare clothing in advance so kids know exactly where to find it and can get ready easily.  Organizing by outfit, including underwear and socks, really helps to streamline the process.  Having to rummage through the clothes dryer in the morning to find that pair of shorts or socks is stressful and time consuming and can throw everyone off schedule. 
  • Be sure your child eats a healthy breakfast.  Nutritionists tout the importance of eating breakfast.  Skip sugary cereals and heavy carbohydrate-laden meals.  Opt for a protein-rich breakfast such as eggs or Greek yogurt.  The protein will provide energy that will last until lunchtime, prevent spikes in blood-sugar levels, and help to keep your child focused. 
  • Relieve first day jitters. The first day of school can be chaotic.  Most schools have scheduled times to meet the teacher(s) so be sure to participate.  It’s also a good idea to tour the school, especially if it’s a new school for your child.  Locate the bathrooms, nurse’s office, lunch room, etc. so your child feels comfortable in their new surroundings. 
  • Talk about school bus safety.  Reinforce general school bus safety rules before the start of school.  Let them know if they have any problems on the bus to tell the driver and you immediately.  Be sure you are on time to meet the bus so you are there when your child arrives and let them know what to do if you are delayed for some reason. 
  • Set a family password.  Make sure your child knows not to share the password with anyone.  In the event you have an emergency and need to send someone else to meet your child, make sure the child asks for the password before going along with them. 
  • Parent involvement is important even for a kindergartener.  Communicate with your child’s teacher regularly about your child’s progress and social development. Work with your child’s teacher to help your child be successful and overcome any challenges.   Volunteer whenever your schedule permits and become an active participant in your child’s school parent-teacher organization. 
  • Choose extracurricular activities carefully.  When children are enrolled in too many activities, it can create overload for both parents and children.  Select one or two activities that your child enjoys and, if possible, carpool with other parents to share driving duties. 
  • You have a lot of influence on your child’s success.  Although volunteering and participating are important, what you do at home helps determine your child’s success.  Make your home learning-friendly by providing a quiet place to study and do homework.  Be a learner yourself so your child understands that learning is important and interesting for everyone.  Studies show that children are more likely to be successful when adults in their lives are actively engaged in learning. 
  • Support a life-long love of learning.  Help your child identify what is enjoyable about school and applaud their efforts, learning, and new knowledge.  Encourage learning at home and provide opportunities for your child to grow and learn.