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Healthy food to pack for your child

By Vision Reporter

Added 28th May 2010 03:00 AM

THE new term has begun and schools have gotten into the habit of allowing children of all ages to have snacks during the day. Research suggests that children who are allowed to have healthy snacks during the day perform better in school, especially if they did not have breakfast.

THE new term has begun and schools have gotten into the habit of allowing children of all ages to have snacks during the day. Research suggests that children who are allowed to have healthy snacks during the day perform better in school, especially if they did not have breakfast.

By Agnes Kyotalengerire

THE new term has begun and schools have gotten into the habit of allowing children of all ages to have snacks during the day. Research suggests that children who are allowed to have healthy snacks during the day perform better in school, especially if they did not have breakfast.

Although snacks are good for the children, buying and packing nutritious snacks can be a real headache for parents. The neatly displayed snacks and juices in aisles of supermarkets put parents in a dilemma.

Below are some ideas for nutritious snacks that you can pack for your children.

Make it a habit to pack fresh fruit for the children. Easy-to-carry options include apples, pears, bananas, strawberries and grapes. Pack these in disposable containers that kids can toss after using or use heavy-duty aluminum foil to make a care package. Alternatively, pack in small light plastic container that can fit in the kid’s bag.

Children also like vegetables they can eat with their fingers, so baby carrots, sliced cucumbers and cherry tomatoes are all yummy. Try adding a small container of any vegetable of the kid’s preference in the child’ bag.

Although home-made fresh juice is hectic to prepare, it is nutritious and a good source of vitamin C as opposed to the processed and packed juices that contain a lot of preservatives. You can prepare plain passion juice or make a cocktail by mixing a range of fruits.

Popcorn is good, fun to eat and provides a healthy pick-me-up for kids. However, avoid the heavily buttered or salted varieties.

Roasted nuts are a great source of protein and other nutrients. Choose roast groundnuts, you can opt to mix them in pop corns or sesame seeds.

Yogurt provides a good source of protein and calcium. The good news is that it comes complete in its own container. If possible, choose one with active live bacterial cultures to maximise its health benefits. Add a plastic spoon.

However, there is no point in packing healthy snacks that you know your child will not eat.

So while you go shopping, take them along to the grocery store, add some new foods to their diet gradually and make sure you feed them a balanced and varied one. If there is something that seems a little odd, but is easy to eat and healthy, pack it for them!

Remember, your goal is to combine two food groups, like protein and carbohydrate, which will fill them up and provide good fuel for school activities, along with fluids to keep them hydrated.

Healthy food to pack for your child

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