Healthy eating for active kids
The school year has started once again, and many children will be involved in various school activities, school sports and club sports. With so much to do, so little time, and lots of driving about the greater Brisbane area (and sometimes beyond!) a lot of planning is needed, particularly when it comes to food. Here are a few tips to ensure that your active child is eating well and has enough energy to last their busy week!
- Make sure your child has a good breakfast every morning. If they have early sport or training and cannot stomach a meal beforehand, try a liquid breakfast or pack breakfast to be eaten afterwards. Check with your school if the canteen is open for breakfast and what food is served – this may be a quick and easy option, providing choices are nutritious (for example, cereal and low fat milk, toast with spreads, jaffles with various fillings).
- Some children have long days, and usually won’t be home until just before dinner. This means they need a lunch box packed with nutritious food that is still appealing at 4pm! Remember to try and include something from each food group: breads/cereals, vegetables/salad, fruit, dairy or alternative, and meat or alternative. Sending along a cold or frozen water bottle will help keep the lunch box cool.
- Let your child help make their own lunch (with supervision). They will be more inclined to eat it if they know what has been packed and can plan what they want to eat and when.
- Not all children like sandwiches! Lunchtime is usually easily taken care of with a trusty sandwich, but there are many children that refuse to eat them. Alternatives can include: wraps, rice/corn crackers with spreads or tuna, fresh salads, rice or pasta salads, or leftovers from the night before.
- Children need to go to bed at an appropriate time to get a good night’s sleep to refuel for the next day. Some children cannot sleep well on a full stomach, so ensure dinner is early enough so your child has some down time to digest and relax before bed.
If you are worried that your child does not eat enough, never seems hungry, or is a fussy eater, and you feel that they may not be getting all the important nutrients that they need, please contact one of our dietitans for further information.