Students need healthy
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Parents who send their children to school need to remember that nutrition is
an important factor in academic
performance, an expert advises. Studies have
shown that children who eat healthy, balanced breakfasts and lunches are more
alert throughout the school day and also earn higher marks than those who have
an unhealthy diet, says Mary Pat Alfaro, clinical manager of the division of
nutrition therapy at Cincinnati Childrenís Hospital Medical Center.
A healthy breakfast includes a variety of foods such as fibre-rich and
whole-grain cereals with low fat milk; yogurt and berries; toast, eggs and 100
per cent fruit juice; or whole wheat bagels and cream cheese with low-fat milk.
One way to prevent children from becoming bored with their lunches is to use
pitas, bagels, English muffins, crackers or tortillas to make sandwiches instead
of using bread all the time.
Alfaro also suggests packing fruit such as grapes, strawberries, apple wedges or
melon chunks thatís quick and easy to eat. Including a toothpick and a dipping
sauce made with yogurt can coax reluctant fruit eaters to try it.
Children should be encouraged to drink low-fat white milk or plain or sugar-free
flavoured water. They should not drink beverages with added supplements such as
herbs and caffeine, Alfaro says.