Planning nutrition an essential part of back to school prep

Posted at 6:27 AM, Aug 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 10:07:53-04

When you think of school shopping, you are probably not picturing the grocery store, but you should!

Experts say one of the best ways you can prep your kids for a successful school year is by feeding them the right foods to power their minds and bodies. Getting students to focus can be the biggest battle in the classroom. Dietician and mother Daphne Olivier says some of the tools to fight that battle can be found in the lunchbox.

 "Nutrition is important for their brain to be able to think through processes and not keep them so excited and antsy and moving around and fidgeting throughout the class," says Olivier. "so they can really sit and focus."

Candy and caffeine are obvious culprits but even fruit juice and flavored yogurt can cause hyperactivity. Olivier says most parents don’t realize they’re packing too much sugar in a lunchbox. She and her son, Alex, showed us how they pack a quick and tasty lunch with high nutrient value.

"There is one fruit and one vegetable, for us its usually carrots, bell pepper slices, maybe grape tomatoes, cucumbers and then an entree," says Olivier. "We usually do a lot of hot entrees."

Alex says one of his favorite hot meals is spaghetti and meatballs. 

In this lunch, Olivier also adds a cheese stick for some calcium and she makes sure not to forget her son’s favorite part.

"She normally packs a treat," says Alex. "I’ll eat that first."

Olivier says that the treats are usually a choice of granola bar or a couple of cookies, but that she makes sure that she balances those sweet snacks with water.

Olivier says it’s a good idea to keep that balance in mind for breakfast and dinner to best prepare your kids for full and active days.