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Ask the Experts

Prepping kids for back to school

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Ask the Experts
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Q: How can I best prepare my kids for back to school?

A: As summer winds down and the calendar flips to September, we’re once again reminded how important nutrition is for ensuring success throughout the school year. Nutrition and learning go hand in hand: studies show that kids who follow a healthy diet have improved memory, higher test scores, and greater self-esteem.

The alarming fact is that one in five Canadian children go without breakfast, and those who do have breakfast often make poor choices. Here are a few ways to stop this trend, and start their day off right.

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Breakfast

It’s the most important meal of the day, so choose wisely. More than half of the breakfast cereals on the market contain more sugar than soft drinks, so consider incorporating more nutrient-dense, unprocessed foods instead, such as a hard-boiled egg, steel-cut oats, or a smoothie.

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Snack time

Children need plenty of nutritious snacks to keep them going between meals. Unfortunately, kids often choose sugary, processed snacks that star in their own TV commercials. Teachers can often pick out which kids have indulged in a sugary snack: behaviours change, energy levels drop off, and concentration suffers. Pack lunch bags with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to keep kids fuelled throughout the day.

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Vitamins and minerals

If you find it challenging to meet all of your child’s nutritional requirements, consider supplementing with a multivitamin. High quality multis are designed to supplement the diet and fill in any nutritional gaps. With a variety of kid-friendly forms, including gummies, chewables, and powdered drink mixes, there’s an option to suit every preference. Just be sure to look for supplements made with all-natural flavours, colours, and sweeteners for a healthy start to their day.

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