Pack a healthy snack for kids’ best start to school

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Wednesday, October 1st, 2014
Community
As parents take to the shops thinking about what to pack in their children’s lunchboxes for the new school term, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging them to choose healthier options for a better break time. Leaflets on packing a healthy break are being sent out to pre-schools and the message is to steer clear of fizzy drinks and snacks high in added sugar, fat and salt, and to remember that children only need kid-sized portions. Judith Hanvey, Regional Food in Schools Coordinator, appointed jointly by the PHA and the Department of Education, said, “There are many options when choosing what to pack, but picking the healthier option can help with pupils’ concentration and behaviour in the classroom. “Encouraging children to have a healthy break habit is an important step in establishing good eating habits that will benefit children throughout their lives, helping them to stay a healthy weight and developing tooth decay.” Nursery schools and playgroups will receive posters and leaflets with information explaining why a healthy break is so important and both schools and parents have an important role to play in ensuring children have healthy choices for both breaks and lunches. Primary schools received similar information in June this year. It’s important that children drink enough during the day so that they don’t become dehydrated and tired. Water and milk are the most suitable for children and fizzy drinks and fruit juices should be avoided as these can cause tooth decay especially when taken between meals. Judith continued, “Young children have a small capacity for food but also have high energy and nutrient requirements. Three daily meals are often not enough to provide all the nutrients they require, therefore healthy snacks between meals are very important. “Including fruit and vegetables as snacks for morning break will also help them get their five a day.” Bread snacks can help meet these extra energy needs so a roll, pitta bread or bread sticks can be a good inclusion in the lunchbox. Thinly spread the bread with a little margarine, low-fat spread or butter and avoid using sugary spreads like jam, honey and chocolate spread which can be harmful to teeth. For more information refer to the leaflets Healthy breaks for schools and Healthy breaks for preschools at www.publichealthagency.org/publications. For information about healthy packed lunches, refer to www.enjoyhealthyeating.info/nutrition/children-aged-over-5-years/packed-lunches

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4 Comments for “Pack a healthy snack for kids’ best start to school”

  1. […] Pack a healthy snack for kids’ best start to school … – As parents take to the shops thinking about what to pack in their children’s lunchboxes for the new school term, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging them to choose healthier options for a better break time. […]

  2. […] Pack a healthy snack for kids’ best start to school … – As parents take to the shops thinking about what to pack in their children’s lunchboxes for the new school term, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging them to choose healthier options for a better break time. […]

  3. […] Pack a healthy snack for kids’ best start to school … – As parents take to the shops thinking about what to pack in their children’s lunchboxes for the new school term, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging them to choose healthier options for a better break time. […]

  4. […] Pack a healthy snack for kids’ best start to school … – As parents take to the shops thinking about what to pack in their children’s lunchboxes for the new school term, the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging them to choose healthier options for a better break time. […]

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