Pop quiz: If you take a classroom of hungry kids and mainline sugar into their veins via candy, cookies and sweets, then give them a math test, what’s going to happen?
Answer: Inevitably the “classic sugar rush” will set in and these kids will have a much harder time being focused on their test than if they’d had a healthy snack first.
One-third of kids are overweight or obese, putting them at risk for a variety of health complications, chronic diseases and lower academic performance. As busy parents sometimes it seems easier to grab quick, unhealthy meals or snacks while on-the-go and often times fatty, sugary treats are offered at children’s gatherings and sporting events. Collectively over time these seemingly innocuous practices take a toll on kids’ health and learning capabilities.
Healthy eating and physical activity have many benefits, but one of the most vital is that it helps kids stay focused in school. Studies show that healthier kids perform better on tests, are more focused in class, behave better, are absent less and have higher self-esteem. The equation is simple:
Good Food + Active Bodies = Kids Equipped For Success!
Kids have many food options when eating at school. Be aware that a packed lunch isn’t automatically healthier than one they buy. However, a packed lunch, if done right, does have a clear advantage. When packing lunch for your kids, you can be sure it includes their favorite healthy foods — stuff you know you like and will eat. It’s not a one-size-fits-all lunch. It’s a lunch just for them. Allowing them to help pack their lunch is a great opportunity to teach them about healthy foods that will fuel their brains and give them the energy they need to get through the day.
As a parent you have the unique ability to have a positive impact on your children’s nutrition and learning. Changing kids’ with unhealthy habits is never easy, but change is possible and necessary. Teach them early to make healthy food choices and you will ensure they have the skills to be academically successful.
For more information on this topic and for tips on how to pack a healthy lunch, see the following link: