Dear Parents and Guardians
School age is the perfect time for children to learn about food, bodies and activity.
Children need a wide variety of foods for a well-balanced diet. The amount of physical activity they have in a day determines how much they need to eat.
Breakfast is important
It is important to encourage breakfast. A good night’s sleep followed by food in the morning helps your child to stay active and concentrate at school. It also means that your child is less likely to be hungry during the morning. Be a role model and let your child see you eat breakfast too. A bowl of cereal with milk and fresh or stewed fruit is a great starter for the whole family.
Our school canteen offers a range of food choices. Packed lunch from home is also a great way for your child to learn about healthy choices.
Foods to limit/ Foods to Avoid
Highly processed, sugary, fatty and salty foods should only make up a very small part of your child’s diet. Foods to avoid in everyday school lunches include:
Processed meats such as salami, ham, hotdogs, nuggets and sausages
Chips, sweet biscuits, muesli bars
Muffins, pastries, brownies
Cordials, tetra pack juices and softdrinks
Treats and peer pressure
Peer pressure to eat trendy foods at this age is strong. Let your child eat these kinds of foods occasionally for example, at parties, special events or when the rest of the family enjoys them.
The occasional lolly or bag of chips doesn’t do any harm. However if your child is having them too often you may find:
Not enough nourishing food are eaten
Children become overweight or obese
You are spending a lot of money – it is much cheaper to provide homemade snacks and lunches
You are missing a chance to teach your child about healthy eating.
After – School snacks
Children of this age may have swings in their appetite depending on their activity levels, so allow them to choose how much they need to eat while offering a variety of healthy foods. Some children will only eat small amounts during their evening meal.
Snack suggestions include
A sandwich with a glass of milk
Cereal and fruit
A bowl of soup or toast
Drinks suggestions include
Children should be encourage to drink plain water
A glass of milk (or a tub of yoghurt or slice of cheese) equals a serving of dairy. Three such servings are needed each day for calcium.
Exercise and Physical Activity
Physical activity is an important part of good health. Try to encourage your child to do something active each day, such as a hobby, play a game or a sport. Some parents may also worry about their child’s weight.
To increase your child’s level of activity, try to:
Limit the amount of time spent watching TV
Do something physical or active together
Go and watch your child play sport
Encourage daily activity, not just exercise
Use the car less
Thank you for following our suggestions. Our school nurse is available should you have any concerns regarding healthy nutrition.