Back to school means getting back into a routine that helps students achieve success in the new school year. Start the year off on solid footing by making good nutrition part of your child's schedule. Multiple studies have shown that good nutrition plays a huge role in academic success. Debby Boutwell, RD, CSP, a clinical dietitian in the Division of Nutrition Therapy at Cincinnati Children's, says multiple studies have shown that poor nutrition adversely effects school performance and overall achievement.
Boutwell says that the best way parents can help their children nutritionally is by making sure they have a healthy morning meal. Even though the meal is called "breakfast" it doesn't mean breakfast foods must be eaten. The goal is to have your child eat a variety of nutrient rich foods, such as high-fiber, nutrient rich grains, fruits and dairy products. The following are some ideas parents can try:
•Fiber rich and whole-grain cereals with low fat milk
•Yogurt and berries
•Toast, eggs and 100 percent fruit juice
•Whole wheat bagels and cheese or eggs with low fat milk
•Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich with low fat milk
•Grilled Cheese sandwich with 100% fruit juice
Boutwell says parents need to make sure their children have a healthy lunch, too. Many studies have shown that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches aren't just more alert throughout the day, they also earn better grades than those who don't eat healthy.
Boutwell gives the following tips to parents on how to ensure healthy nutrition for their child:
•Use myplate.gov. Follow the guidelines by making half the lunch fruits and vegetables, and at least half the grains whole grain. Remember to go easy on fats and sweets.