Health Focus Archive
Back To School: Nutrition
Let's face facts: It's not easy to convince
kids that carrot sticks and dried tofu taste as good as
chips and ice cream. Maybe they don't -- to palates used
to refined sugars and fats. The trick to improving your
child's diet is moderation.
Breakfast is easily one of the lower-fat,
fiber-and-nutrient-packed opportunities of a kid's day.
It's been shown to boost energy, school performance and
maybe even weight control. But given the hectic nature
of weekday mornings, it'd better be easy. And it is:
- High-fiber cereal with milk graduates to a super
start when they throw on some berries. Add a glass
of calcium-enriched orange juice, and that's two bone-building
servings before they leave the house.
- Whip up a pitcher of fruit-and-yogurt shakes, or
leave the blender out for older kids.
- Melt a low-fat cheese slice on toast, or between
two multigrain waffles.
- Have yogurt, crunchy granola and raisins ready for
- Scrambled egg and cheese tacos, pizza bagels, even
a veggie or turkey burger popped in the microwave
oven with a slice of low-fat cheese, can wake up sleepy
- Late For School? Give them a sport bottle filled
with OJ or a yogurt smoothie with a muffin to eat
on the way. Even faster: a cheese stick and fruit.
SAY NO TO FIZZY DRINKS
For school-age children, aim for the recommended
three-glasses-a-day milk target, and then add another
three rounds of water. Juice can quench any thirst that's
left. No need to ban carbonation either. Keep your children
cheering with these tips:
- Install a water cooler in the kitchen.
- Keep sports bottles filled with water and at the
- Phase out supersweet, high-calorie drinks by substituting
100% juice. Then dilute fruit juices with plain or
- Buy bottled waters with fruit essences (not the
sugared type) instead of soft drinks.
- Encourage mixology: Sparkling water can fizz up
any drink you'd normally give your kids.
- Stock the fridge with fruits like grapes and melons,
which pack lots of water.
- Send the kids to school with juice instead of soda.