Archive for the ‘healthy meals for children’ Category

Back To School and Fitness

From: New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sports – August 2015

BACK TO SCHOOL

Like it or not, the end of summer is coming and it will soon be time to head back to school. As a classroom teacher, I see many students not starting the school year as well as they could which can have social and academic consequences later in the year. A good start in the classroom starts at the breakfast table. Here are my recommendations so students will perform their best each school day!

Choose Complex Carbohydrates (Carbs)

Carbohydrates are the main food source of fuel for the body and the brain. Inadequate carbohydrate intake may decrease mental acuity, memory and the ability to think logically and can lead to feelings of overall lethargy and fatigue. Complex carbs, like whole-grain foods, retain their nutrients including the vitamins needed for energy metabolism. Fiber helps ‘fill you up’ and decreases the risk of hunger cravings during the middle of your school day because it digests more slowly.

To understand this concept, think about building a fire. You could use lots of paper and magazines to get the flames very high and large quickly; however, this fire won’t burn for very long before becoming ashes. Fueling your fire with newspapers and magazines is essentially the same as eating a breakfast high in sugar resulting in a quick sugar rush and while you feel focused and attentive at the start, by the end of the 2nd class of the day, unfocused and yawning once the lights dim, the power point goes on in History, resulting in a C grade on the report card!

Instead, fuel your fire with pieces of wood that have a much longer burn and keep burning throughout a much longer period of time. Complex carbohydrates help energize students throughout the morning periods into the afternoon keeping them focused, alert and attentive – not burnt by the time the 2nd class ends with 3 more classes before ‘refueling’ at lunch period.

Keep it simple and make eating breakfast every day routine!

Create a breakfast with staying power using protein and carbohydrate combos. Breakfast is an ideal way to energize so there will be no sleeping in class.

Here are a few winning options for the most important meal of the day – BREAKFAST!

-Whole Grain Cold Cereal (i.e., Cheerios, Total, Wheaties, Kix) with fruit

-Hot Oatmeal with a banana & berries

-Eggs or Peanut Butter on Whole Grain Toast

Article by: Gian Paul Gonzalez, History School Teacher
Member, New Jersey Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

How to Eat Well While You Travel With Your Family

Eating well is difficult enough in the comfort of one’s own home, but it can feel especially challenging on vacation.  There are so many restaurants and snack stands, and if you’re traveling by air or train, you have to spend a lot of time stationary in close proximity to a lot of tempting food choices.  What is a health-conscious person to do?  Here are a few tips to keep you from blowing it in the food department when you go on a trip.

Airports and planes themselves can be major traps for unsuspecting travelers.  Understand that those restaurants in the airport are preying upon your boredom and depending on the fact that you didn’t come prepared to deal with a long layover.  The food is generally overpriced, and health is rarely a top consideration.  If you must eat at one of these restaurants, at least spend some time walking around to get a sense of which offers the healthiest choices.  This will also help you to get some exercise to offset what you are about to eat.  Preferably, though, you should just eat a large meal before you leave home and pack some healthy snacks to enjoy when the hunger pangs start to flare up.

fruit

If you are staying in a hotel and are able to choose which hotel you stay in, do a little research beforehand to find out whether there are any eateries or food stores nearby.  You should also find out from whoever is working at the hotel desk whether room service caters to those who specify dietary restrictions and whether it is permissible to bring a crock pot or other small cooking device into the room and use it.  You should also learn whether there is a free breakfast available at the hotel, as this can get your day off to a good start nutritionally as long as you select the right things. Often times these things can be difficult to determine. Fortunately, I recently was searching for information regarding hotels and found a great site called Gogobot that lists consumer reviews for each option in the area. This proved extremely helpful when I traveled to Las Vegas and was able to see a list of reviews for Las Vegas hotels regarding not only their amenities and services, but also the restaurants in the surrounding area. This made it easier than ever to maintain my healthy lifestyle within and outside of the hotel even in the buffet ridden Sin City.

While you are making your way through the day on vacation, you should carry healthy snacks such as dried fruit and trail mix with you so that you can snack on those instead of giving in to the temptation of fast food restaurants and street vendors.  It’s also a very good idea to carry bottled water with you and drink it whenever you get thirsty.  Otherwise, you may be tempted to buy carbonated soft drinks, and too many of those sugary beverages can be very detrimental to your health and your waistline.

If you are traveling with others, explain to them that you are determined to eat healthy.  Not everyone may share your goals, so don’t impose them on others, but insist upon eating in restaurants that include at least a few healthy meal options.  Many restaurants have icons next to certain menu items indicating that they are low in sodium or good for heart health, so keep an eye out for these.  As long as you respect the dietary choices of others, you should have no problem sticking to your good eating habits while you are on vacation.

Planning A Healthy Meal For Your Child

Here’s a PDF file which will give you some suggestions and ideas on how to plan a healthy meal for your child!

healthy meal ideas for children

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