Back to School Tips for Parents – Part 2

Back to School Tips: Nutrition

How many calories should my daughter be eating? A growing child usually needs 2200 calories a day, more if she is very active. If your daughter is complaining about feeling weak or fatigued, or gets frequent headaches in the afternoon, she might not be eating enough. To raise caloric consumption, make sure she is getting enough carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, pasta, beans, bread), which are excellent sources of energy during exercise. In addition, the protein needs of an athlete may be a little higher than those of a more sedentary individual.

Eating During the School Day

What should my child eat for lunch? Although school lunches have improved over the years, some still exceed recommendations for fat. In addition, in the typical school cafeteria, kids can still choose an unhealthy mix of foods, especially the less nutritious fare often available a la carte or in the vending machine. For instance, a kid might decide to buy a hot dog, day after day.

What to do? Most schools regularly send schedules of cafeteria menus home. With this advance information, you can plan on packing lunch on the days when the main course is one your child prefers not to eat. For more information on what to pack in a healthy school lunch, see:

You might also try to get your child’s school to stock healthy choices such as fresh fruit, low-fat dairy products, water and 100 percent fruit juice in the vending machines. Each 12-ounce soft drink contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and 150 calories. Drinking just one can of soda a day increases a child’s risk of obesity by 60%. Make sure you know what options your child’s school offers.

Don’t forget about the after school snack! It’s a long time between lunch and dinner for anyone, but especially an active child. Most people, including adults, need a snack between 3:00 and 4:00pm. Don’t know what to pack? Here are some great recommendations for healthy snacks for kids of all ages:

How Can I Help GOTR?
It’s school supply time and we need your help. Next time you buy school supplies, pick up one (or more) of the following items:

  • Markers – fine tip
  • ink pens
  • Colored paper reams – cardstock and regular
  • Copy paper
  • Small Paper Lunch Bags
  • Index Cards

For our full wish list, please see:

Know someone who likes to run? Have them become a GOTR SoleMate:

Know someone who likes to play golf? Have them pick Girls on the Run as their charity at the Albertson’s Boise Open:

For more information on this week’s topics, see:

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