Best Fuel for a Hard Day at School
Preparing your child properly to do well in school each day is not just a matter of making sure that they have done their homework. It is also important to be sure that you prepare them physically, sending them to school with as much energy as possible in order to make the most of their day. This means that you need to make sure that you feed them right to fuel their educational career.
Most Important Meal of the Day
When the school day starts, your children need to have the proper fuel to get going and keep going. The first step is a healthy and complete breakfast. When your child gets up in the morning they are running on empty. It has literally been hours since their last meal, the longest time that they will go without eating during the course of their day. Without breakfast, their body has no fuel and no ability to cope with the demands that your child will make upon it.
It is almost worse, however, to provide an inferior breakfast. Sugar and fat filled breakfasts bring your child's energy level up just enough to get them to school and into class before crashing. This leaves your child sluggish and inattentive for the most important part of the school day. So what should your child eat to fuel their day?
- Oatmeal-preferably not instant oatmeal, will leave your child feeling full while providing a slow burning, long lasting, start to the day.
- Eggs-Eggs are full of protein to fuel your child's morning, as well as vitamin D and nine essential amino acids.
- Potatoes-Like oatmeal, potatoes provide a long lasting starch fuel to the body. They also contain necessary iron and potassium. They are especially healthy when eaten with the skins on.
- Smoothies-Smoothies are a great way to serve a quick breakfast while stacking the nutritional deck. You can toss anything into a smoothie as long as your child tastes a dominant palette of flavor that they approve of, they'll get their nutrients without complaining.
Don't Forget Your Lunch
Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but your child needs to eat throughout the day to maintain their energy and performance. Don't forget to offer them a healthy lunch option that will build upon the foundation you have set with their breakfast. If you can, it is best to give your child a bagged lunch rather than allowing them to buy one at school. This will provide you with some measure of control over the nutritional content of their meal.
A good lunch should be lighter than breakfast, but it should be planned with the same considerations in mind. Pack small servings of a variety of foods and try to make sure that you include something from each food group. This will allow your child to pick and choose what they'd like to eat, while still getting a relatively healthy meal. If you do it right, their lunch will carry them all the way through their afternoon and on into dinner.
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