Choose Healthy Options
Did you know that by skipping breakfast, your child may feel less energetic and find it hard to concentrate throughout the school day!
Rush! Rush! Rush! – seem to be the way of life for many school going children in Sri Lanka. Most kids gulp down a cup of milk and set off to school. However, maintaining a balanced diet is important for the child’s development and performance.
Best Nutritional Practises For School-Aged Children
- Eat Breakfast – A nutritional breakfast is important and it should provide one-third of the days required nutrition. Skipping breakfast and prolonging the after dinner – fast affects the child’s attention span, energy levels and cognitive development – A good breakfast could consist of bread, cereal, pulses and rice. Ensure you provide protein high food such as eggs, milk, pulses and food rich in vitamin-C like orange juice and papaw.
- Balanced Meals – Provide balanced meals for children including all nutrition groups. Protein, carbohydrate, fat, minerals and vitamins. Cut out on extra sugar and fat will provide your child a good start to life including chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cholesterol in adulthood. Feed your child a variety of meals. Go for mallung, red rice, fish, meat, eggs, milk, vegetables and lots of fruits. Make meals interesting such as an occasional sandwich or wrap with meat and salads is a good option for lunch – kids love this deviation from the regular rice and curry.
- Exercise – Make sure exercise is part of the balanced nutrition plan for school-aged children. Never encourage a child to laze around or watch too much TV. The vitamin D provided by sunlight is essential for your kids growth, fresh air, running, playing and exercising are just as important as a balanced meal.
- Provide Healthy Snacks – Kids need to snack all the time. Healthy growing kids burn more energy and need to fuel up often. Make sure to provide snacks that are low in fat, salt and sugar. Healthy options may be a quick sandwich, milk (flavoured), yoghurt, cheese, fruits or even some kadala that has been tempered with butter. Be creative! Surf the web or ask friends and become a super mom by providing nutritious tasty snacks.
- Iron & Calcium Is Important – Growing children need loads of iron and calcium to accommodate growth spurts, energy needs and bone formation. Look out for food rich in these categories or check out the helpful articles on nutrition by clicking
- Say No To Sugars – Teach children to eat healthy from an early age, cut out fizzy drinks and go for natural fruit juices. Limit sweets which in excess is bad for teeth and may cause.
Key Nutritional Needs Of School-Aged Children
- Energy –
- Protein –
- Fatty Acids –
- Calcium –
- Iron –
Plan Your Meals
All it takes is proper planning to start providing healthy meals. Beat the rush of daily life by pre-planning your weekly menu. Surf the web – there are loads of interesting options to choose from. Deviate from everyday rice and curry – make meals healthy and fun for kids.
Above all, incorporate proper eating habits, cut out the junk food and stock up on healthy options. Have a weekly menu plan that is suitable to every family member. Strive to give your child a quick meal before leaving for school.