Nourishing meals and snacks make a child healthier, more emotionally stable and better at performing - whether on the soccer field or in the classroom.
Start your child's day right.
Put your blender to good use. Make a shake or smoothie with milk and fresh fruit. Smoothies can contain essential nutrients that your growing child needs, along with healthy amounts of protein and fiber. Adding fresh fruit can make a plain shake more flavorful as well as more nutritious.
Offer a breakfast buffet with sliced fresh fruits, vegetables, hard-boiled eggs, whole-wheat toast or cereals.
When it comes to this midday meal, include fruits, vegetables and healthy protein sources, such as chicken and fish.
Get creative! Mix it up. Try packing fruit cocktail, applesauce, mandarin orange slices, yogurt - even popcorn - into your child's lunch bag.
Add some sliced celery and carrots.
Don't forget plenty of water. On average, eight ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes is needed during activity.
Most kids get hungry between meals, so having good-quality snack choices is a smart move to providing needed nutrients throughout the day.
Offer nuts, raisins, pretzel sticks, banana chips, trail mix, sunflower seeds, peanut butter or dried fruit. These can be found in convenient to-go packets and are a high-fiber, high-protein, anytime snack.
Try to avoid sugary snacks like candy, pudding, pastries and soda. Sugary foods cause energy peaks and valleys, which leave kids tired and unable to focus.
For something to satisfy a sweet tooth, try flavored protein bars. These give your child a boost of essential vitamins and minerals, and keep hunger at bay. Protein is responsible for building and maintaining lean muscle mass.
Out of all the meals, dinner can be the lightest. And involving your youngsters in the family menu lets them feel part of the process and gets them used to more types of food choices.
Let your children serve themselves so they can decide how much to put on their plates.
Eat dinner together, undistracted by television, games or other electronics. This makes your evening mealtime pleasant and positive for all.
These are just some ways to improve the daily nutrition of your children. Using these tips and strategies will help build better health and wellness for your youngsters starting at an early age.