It’s that time of year again when parents are preparing to get their kids back to school.  For some parents it will be a much-anticipated time.  There is even a commercial on television singing, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”.   I don’t know about that as I do not have any children, but I do know one thing.  Children need to have proper nutrition.

Proper nutrition is critical for growth and development and more and more studies are showing that a healthy diet also plays a key role in school performance, behavior, and mental function.  A healthy breakfast, healthy lunch, and healthy snacks should provide kids with enough nutrients to help them stay active and help them concentrate throughout the day.

Although it can seem like a daunting task for some to prepare healthy school lunches and snacks, relying on convenient and pre-packaged foods is not a healthy choice. Not only are these packaged foods expensive, they are low in essential nutrients children need, and are high in fat, salt and sugar.  Cafeteria food is beginning to show some improvement by offering more fresh foods in their selection, but if you want your kids to eat healthy, preparing their lunch and snacks ahead of time helps to ensure your children are getting what they need.

Chop up some veggies the night before and seal them in a Ziploc bag so it’s easy in the morning to pop one into your child’s lunch.  Carrot, celery, cucumber and sweet bell pepper sticks are a favourite among children.  Make a big batch of fruit salad using oranges, grapefruit, grapes and berries.  Serve it in a small container included in your child’s lunch.  Make sure to include a variety of foods from the various food groups such as plenty of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, milk products (or calcium fortified alternatives), and protein from lean meats or alternatives.  And don’t forget to let kids enjoy their favourite treat in moderation.

There are many ways to incorporate a healthy diet for children (and ourselves for that matter) without going broke or taking “too much time” to prepare.  Have a “family” meeting to discuss what role a healthier diet will play and what everyone can do to help out.  Make suggestions and remain open to new foods and ideas. Explain the importance of a healthy diet and the role nutrition can play in the prevention of disease.

Healthy food choices are essential for maintaining good health and well-being, and an easy way to start is with Canada’s Food Guide (or the USDA MyPyriamid program in the United States).  I don’t agree with everything Health Canada dictates (especially with regards to health food products and health supplements), but I do believe the food guides are a good tool to use to find out the right types and amounts of food children, teenagers, adults, and seniors need to consume.  You can visit the Canada Food guide website at: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/index-eng.php and/or the USDA MyPyramid website at: http://www.mypyramid.gov/

Another thing parents can do to ensure their children are getting the nutrition they need is to supplement with a whole food product such as AIM BarleyLife™ Xtra.

Each serving of BarleyLife™ Xtra contains one full serving of BarleyLife® along with a blend of seventeen additional fruits and vegetables including broccoli, carrot, and cranberry.  This additional blend gives BarleyLife™ Xtra a great taste and additional nutritional benefits.

One of BarleyLife™ Xtra’s chief ingredients is acerola cherry, which is known for being extremely rich in vitamin C.
Each serving of BarleyLife™ Xtra provides 34 percent of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin C.  BarleyLife™ Xtra is sweetened naturally with Lo Han, which makes it a healthy alternative to the sugary drinks children often consume.

BarleyLife™Xtra is available in 360-gram canisters and is also available in a one serving sample pack.  These are perfect for popping in with child’s lunch or have them keep some in their locker. They can mix the powder in a bottle of water or their favourite juice for a nutritious snack to ensure they’re getting the nutritional support they need.

Children deserve to be healthy.  Being healthy will not only make them happier, they will be more alert, have better concentration, and learn more as well.  What better time to start them off right than at the beginning of the school year with some healthy back to school basics such as proper nutrition and AIM BarleyLife™ Xtra.

Click here to learn about AIM BarleyLife™ Xtra, download a datasheet, watch a video, and make your purchase.  As with any nutritional supplement it is always recommended to read the literature thoroughly to find out if this product is right for your child, and consult your health care practitioner if your child has any medical conditions or concerns.

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” ~Albert Einstein

Article by Joanne Jackson, CHN

**Back to School photo image provided by FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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