Rebuild healthy habits as your kids head back to school
During the long school holidays, it’s easy to let healthy habits maintained throughout the year lapse. Yet after the holidays’ indulgences – be they sugary ice lollies or Christmas candy – it’s important to re-establish a ‘healthy kids routine’ as your kids head back to school. This should include active play and getting into a focus-reinforcing sleep routine. Follow this brief guide to establishing good end-of-holiday routines to maximise your kids’ ability to learn and grow.
Make Mornings Count
Breakfast is the most crucial meal of the day. Not only does it provide fuel for learning and active play – it also ensures that the metabolism gets going, keeping your kids fitter and healthier. As part of your ‘back to school’ routine, start preparing your kids’ breakfasts that ensure sustained energy release. Making a healthy breakfast needn’t be time-consuming. Here are some suggestions:
- Mix cold or hot cereal with fruit, so that your child consumes recommended daily portions.
- Try smoothies – a delicious blend of fibre and juicy fruit is an easy-to-digest breakfast option.
- Try a healthy take on the sundae – instead of the ice cream and chocolate sauce that might have snuck in during the holidays, layer yoghurt and granola for a digestive boost.
- Include protein for healthy muscle development by making tasty scrambled eggs.
- Go wholewheat –it’s more filling than refined flour, and better for digestion too
Keeping Lunch Time Exciting
Snacks sold in school tuck shops are often unhealthy and greasy. Lunch should not cancel out a healthy breakfast. Rather involve your kid in selecting favourite healthy lunch items, and switch things up regularly by trying different healthy meals and snacks. Here are some fun lunch suggestions:
- Try different breads – sandwiches might get boring, but using tortilla wraps and pita bread to enfold delicious fillings is a great way to ensure a balanced diet.
- Send fillings in small separate containers so your child can mix and match and share with friends (if there is extra filling to go round).
- Mixed fruit ‘kebabs’ provide a burst of flavour and extra hydration in the summer months.
- A bag of healthy snacks – think mixed nuts and dried berries – can provide a much needed top-up of energy in-between classes after lunch or while your child waits for extra-mural activities after school.