Good nutrition can boost school performance, expert says

August 25, 2013
Good nutrition can boost school performance, expert says
Start the day with grains, fruit and dairy.

(HealthDay)—A healthy diet can help students excel in school, a registered dietitian says.

One of the best ways to jump-start a successful school day is to provide children with a nutritious morning meal, says Debby Boutwell, a clinical dietitian in the division of nutrition therapy at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

This doesn't necessarily mean serving traditional breakfast foods, however. For school children, Boutwell recommends a breakfast that includes high-fiber grains, fruit and dairy products. Here are some options:

  • Fiber rich and whole-grain cereals with low fat milk
  • Yogurt and berries
  • Toast, eggs and 100 percent fruit juice
  • Whole-wheat bagels and cheese or eggs with low-fat milk
  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with low-fat milk
  • Grilled cheese sandwich with 100 percent fruit juice

Children should be having even more nutrient-rich foods for lunch, to help them stay alert throughout the day, Boutwell advised. She noted that using the website, myplate.gov, can help parents pack healthy lunches for their children. Half of a child's lunch should be fruits and vegetables, and at least half of the grains eaten at lunch should be , Boutwell said. Fats and sweets should be kept to a minimum.

Among Boutwell's other lunchtime tips for school children:

  • Mix it up. Variety is good. For example, avoid packing the same type of bread every day and make sandwiches using pitas, bagels, crackers or tortillas.
  • Simplify things. Provide children with fruits that are easy to pick up and eat, such as apple wedges, grapes or strawberries. Packing a yogurt or peanut butter dipping sauce can also be fun for kids.
  • Limit sugary drinks. Even 100 percent juice contains a lot of sugar. Opt for , water or sugar-free flavored water. Don't give children drinks with caffeine or herbal supplements.
  • Review the school lunch menu. Even who bring their lunch to school can buy a cheese stick or milk at school to ensure it's fresh and cold. Parents should check their child's lunch menu to review what is being served.

Explore further: Pack school lunches that are healthy and fun

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides more information on school nutrition for children and teens..

Related Stories

Pack school lunches that are healthy and fun

September 2, 2012
(HealthDay)—Packing nutritious and fun school lunches can help children achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Chips, sodas out, healthier fare in with new school snack rules

February 4, 2013
(HealthDay)—The days when U.S. children can get themselves a sugary soda or a chocolate bar from a school vending machine may be numbered, if newly proposed government rules take effect.

Nutrition experts offer tips on healthy summer eating for kids

June 20, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Summer time can often be a free-for-all when it comes to children and their eating habits, said one University of Alabama nutrition expert. There are, however, several things parents can do to help make ...

New rules aim to rid US schools of junk foods

June 27, 2013
(AP)—High-calorie sports drinks and candy bars will be removed from vending machines and cafeteria lines at all U.S. schools as soon as next year, replaced with diet drinks, granola bars and other healthier items.

Sugary drinks tied to preschoolers' extra pounds

August 5, 2013
(HealthDay)—Preschool children who regularly have sugary drinks tend to pack on more pounds than other youngsters, a large study of U.S. children suggests.

Sugar-sweetened drinks are not replacing milk in kid's diets

July 18, 2012
National data indicate that milk consumption has declined among children while consumption of sweetened beverages of low nutritional quality has more than doubled. Although this suggests that sugar-sweetened beverages may ...

Recommended for you

Study finds 275,000 calls to poison control centers for dietary supplement exposures from 2000 through 2012

July 24, 2017
U.S. Poison Control Centers receive a call every 24 minutes, on average, regarding dietary supplement exposures, according to a new study from the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, ...

Alcohol to claim 63,000 lives over next five years, experts warn

July 24, 2017
Alcohol consumption will cause 63,000 deaths in England over the next five years – the equivalent of 35 deaths a day – according to a new report from the University of Sheffield Alcohol Research Group.

App lets patients work alone or with others to prevent, monitor, and reverse chronic disease

July 24, 2017
Lack of patient adherence to treatment plans is a lingering, costly problem in the United States. But MIT Media Lab spinout Twine Health is proving that regular interventions from a patient's community of supporters can greatly ...

Alcohol boosts recall of earlier learning

July 24, 2017
Drinking alcohol improves memory for information learned before the drinking episode began, new research suggests.

To combat teen smoking, health experts recommend R ratings for movies that depict tobacco use

July 21, 2017
Public health experts have an unusual suggestion for reducing teen smoking: Give just about any movie that depicts tobacco use an automatic R rating.

Why sugary drinks and protein-rich meals don't go well together

July 20, 2017
Having a sugar-sweetened drink with a high-protein meal may negatively affect energy balance, alter food preferences and cause the body to store more fat, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Nutrition.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.