The Best Food for Thought

Thursday November 10, 2016
By Cara Rosenbloom
Parenting Tips

Cara Rosenbloom, a Registered Dietitian and mom, partnered with Grain Farmers of Ontario to share her knowledge about foods that can help promote children’s learning and development. Now, she shares her tips with us too!


What's one of the best ways to help your children get good grades and have energy for long afternoons at school? Pack a healthy lunch! Here are some tips:

parenting tips - the best food for thought

 

A Balanced Lunch Box Goes a Long Way

When children eat a well-balanced lunch, it's easier for them to concentrate at school and have energy for afternoon activities. Healthy lunches filled with whole grains, vegetables, fruit and protein can lead to better grades and higher scores on standardized tests, especially when compared with children eating high-fat, salty lunches.

A nutrient-sparse lunch will make them more likely to reach for unhealthy recess snacks, when energy is low and sugar cravings kick in. This can affect school performance. In fact, studies show that children who are undernourished have lower grades on tests of vocabulary, reading comprehension, arithmetic and general knowledge.[1],[2]

Besides academics, healthy diets lead to decreased risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and other conditions.[3] So, that lunchbox really matters.

 

Pack What they Love

Does your child’s lunch come home half-eaten? Include them in the lunch-planning process and send them to school with foods they enjoy. In addition to providing energy, kid-favourite carbohydrate-containing foods, such as whole grain wheat and corn, are crucial for brain health. Carb-rich foods fuel your child's brain power – no low-carb diets for kids, please!

The healthiest carbohydrates include whole grains (wheat, corn, oats, etc.), vegetables, fruit and legumes (such as chickpeas, lentils and soybeans). They promote good health by providing vitamins, minerals and fibre, which are required for normal growth and development.

Create healthy lunchboxes by using Health Canada’s Eat Well Plate as a model. Fill half with vegetables or fruit, a quarter with grains, and the remaining quarter with protein-rich foods. Here are some examples:

 

food for thought table

 

Don’t forget to add fruit to ensure half of the lunch is comprised of vegetables and fruit. Try grapes, strawberries, sliced apple, pear or banana.

For more healthy recipes and tips, visit www.goodineverygrain.ca.


[3] http://childhoodobesityfoundation.ca/what-is-childhood-obesity/complicat...


Kumon not only helps children develop the skills they need to succeed in and out of school, but also helps them foster healthy routines which can help students get the most out of their education. Visit a centre near you today!