5 Health Tips for Back to School

As you send your child back to school, follow these five health tips to keep your child healthy

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1Begin the Day with a Brainy Breakfast

Above all other organs, the brain is most affected – for better or worse – by what you eat. You put junk food into a child’s brain, you get junk behavior and junk learning. Scientific studies show that children who begin the day with a brainy breakfast:

  • Made higher grades
  • Were more attentive and participated better in class
  • Were less likely to be diagnosed with A.D.D. or learning disabilities
  • Handled complex learning tasks better
  • Missed fewer school days because of illness

The main ingredients of a brainy breakfast are:

  • Protein, which perks up the brain
  • Fiber-filled carbs, which provide a steady supply of fuel
  • Omega-3 fats, which build smart brain cells
  • Minerals, such as calcium and iron, which help brain biochemistry work better

Here are some tips for brainy back-to-school breakfasts from the Sears’ family kitchen:

  • Whole-grain waffles or pancakes topped with blueberries and peanut butter
  • Oatmeal with blueberries and yogurt
  • Whole-wheat banana nut bread and yogurt
  • ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese in a scooped-out cantaloupe half
  • Whole-wheat tortilla wrapped around scrambled eggs and diced tomatoes
  • Veggie omelet, whole-wheat toast, and fruit
  • Peanut butter and banana slices on a whole-wheat English muffin with low-fat milk
  • Almond-strawberry yogurt cup. Layer the yogurt and strawberries (or another fruit, such
  • as blueberries or chopped apple, peaches, or pineapple) in a small bowl. Drizzle honey
  • over the top if plain yogurt is used. Sprinkle with almonds and/or flax-seed meal.
  • Zucchini pancakes. This is a long-standing Sears’ favorite that even our toddlers enjoyed.
  • Add a cup of shredded zucchini to whole-wheat pancakes.
  • A fruit and yogurt smoothie

Besides a brainy breakfast, send your child to school with a healthy snack. Those busy little bodies and brains run out of fuel mid-morning and mid-afternoon, the times when learning and behavioral problems are most likely to appear. Our favorite snack: Go nuts! Nuts are the perfect snack because they provide the perfect balance of healthy fats, healthy carbs, and protein. Make your own trail mix: let your children pick out their favorite nuts and add dried fruit. For school snacks, be safe and avoid peanuts because of possible peanut allergy. A handful of nuts for a mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack is just what the school-doctor orders.

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