The new school term is right around the corner. This time the classroom is in your living room and when it’s break time and lunch time your kitchen becomes their cafeteria. Here are some helpful diabetic focused nutrition tips to keep your little genius healthy and bright.
- Ensure there’s a balance of low-GI* carbs, some low-fat protein, healthy fats and vegetables/salad daily.
- Include sugar and salt in moderation.
- Have your kids plan their meals and prep them with you in the kitchen. This will increase the likelihood of them completing their meals and trying out new healthy food choices.
- Pre-pack meals into containers to save time and manage portion control.
- Have consistent meal times to help keep their blood glucose levels steady and within the target range.
- Buy healthful (lower-GI) packaged snacks and let them see you enjoying them too.
- Set snack times preferably mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
- Offer a variety of snacks from several areas of the food pyramid so that they don’t get bored. eg. air-popped popcorn, frozen, low-fat, no sugar added yogurt or ice cream, cucumber slices with a few raisins.
- Pack them in colourful kits and baggies to make healthier offerings more appealing.
- Whip up a batch of homemade snacks like banana muffins and low carb-peanut butter cookies.
- They’re fun to make and the kids won’t feel like they’re missing out when they crave a special treat.
- Have a variety of low GI fruits each week for them to choose from if they’re still hungry.
- Keep milk, water and fruit smoothies (no added sugar) on hand.
- You can make water more fun by infusing it with fruit.
- Read those labels. 100% fruit juice may have more sugar than regular juice drinks. Dilute with water.
- Flavoured milk drinks are fine as long as you make sure it’s made with low-fat milk, which is low-GI and lower in kilojoules. If it’s not then dilute it with low-fat milk before serving.
An important part of actual school is that kids get in their physical activity when they go outside to play and move around during their scheduled breaks. So make sure they put down their devices and get moving when they are on a break. Encourage them to skip, ride their bike, do a dance challenge, anything that will help them keep activity level up. It’s also a great mental break from their school work.