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Drive Up Energy Levels

Contributed by: News Canada

(NC) - Notebooks, pens and the latest fashions are not the only things kids need today to get the school year off to a great start. Eating right should also be a priority, so that students of all ages have the energy they need to get through those busy school days.

Drive up energy levels for busy back-to-school schedules
A well-balanced breakfast remains the most important meal of the day. Fruit juice, toast, cereal and eggs are a great start, as are servings of fruit or yogurt.

Lunch can be a little tougher with parents being pressed for time and children often being choosy about what they eat or tempted by the not-so-healthy offerings of school vending machines.

The challenge for parents is to come up with interesting lunch menus that include all four essential food groups - breads, fruit and vegetables, protein and dairy products. Here are some strategies to keep kids excited about healthy eating:

  • Consider using colourful food combinations;

  • Cut sandwiches into fun shapes;

  • Instead of chips, serve popcorn or pretzels;

  • Try dips and spreads to make fruit and veggies more appealing;

  • Include cheese or yogurt with meals if milk isn't appealing;

  • Try graham crackers or fruit instead of cookies;

  • Package up some leftovers from last night's dinner to add variety to lunches;

  • Get your children thinking more about good food choices by involving them in shopping and meal planning.

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