According to a study from the American Journal of Public Health, the body mass index of kindergartners and first-graders increased two to three times as fast during the summer months as opposed to the school year. Of course, there are other factors that help to contribute to this, such as regular exercise during P.E. and the days are more structured. However, a lot of it has to do with meals that are not as nutritionally sound as they are during the school year. The best private school in Orlando, Lake Forrest Prep, shares the things parents should do when planning their children’s meals during the summer.
- Fruits & Veggies: The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that everyone needs nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. So they should be served with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also think about the opportunities to incorporate fruits and vegetables into snacks. Orange slices, carrot and celery sticks with low-fat ranch dressing, apple slices with natural peanut butter, and broccoli and cauliflower with hummus are all great and yummy choices.
- Low-Fat Proteins & Whole Grains: Children should start their day with whole grains, such as oatmeal and whole-grain toast. Be sure the first ingredient on the package reads “whole grain,” because if it doesn’t, then it isn’t. Also, be sure to choose pasta that is whole grain, too. Look for low-fat proteins to include in their meals and snacks, like low-fat cheese sticks.
- Saturated Fats & Sugars: This is the part of their diet that really shouldn’t have much of it in it. Sodas, fruit juices, and drinks in a pouch are notorious for containing empty calories in the form of sugar. The majority of the time, children should be offered fat-free milk or water as their beverage. Also, cut back on fried foods and processed foods.
A good rule of thumb is to shop for your groceries on the outside aisles of a store-that is where you will find the fruits, veggies, and meats. Most of the processed stuff is found within the inside of the store. For even more parenting tips, please browse the blogs of the best private school in Orlando, Lake Forrest Prep.