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Back to School - Nutrition for Kids

As you prepare to send your children back to school, there are many things you may be thinking of: new clothes, schoolbooks, and lunch boxes. Another thing you can think about is their nutrition. A healthy diet and supportive nutritional supplements can help give kids what they need to be their best during the school year and beyond.

Let's face it: few kids eat the perfect diet. Families are in a hurry and kids are picky, so they often rely on quick, packed foods, fast foods or treats. Some kids also skip meals, which is bad for their health.

In the snack department, here are some healthy ideas:

  • Whole grain crackers - can be eaten with cheese or unsweetened natural peanut butter or almond butter.
  • Baked corn chips - excellent with salsa or guacamole. Low in fat, high in fiber.
  • Air-popped popcorn.
  • Fresh fruit - try things other than bananas and apples such as berries, melon, plums, nectarines, kiwis, mango, papaya, pineapple or star fruit.
  • Sliced veggies - carrots, celery, bell pepper and cucumber. Most markets even sell them pre-sliced to make this easy.
  • Whole-grain cereals - great for breakfast, but can also be eaten dry as snacks.
  • String cheese, cottage cheese, and yogurt -- look for small individual packets that are easy for kids to grab and eat. Find yogurt with real fruit but minus the added sugar or artificial sweeteners.
  • Real juice and flavored waters - make sure it's 100% juice and that the flavored waters are unsweetened. Try replacing soft drinks with a mix of 1/4 juice and plain carbonated water.
  • Eggs - great for breakfast, but you can also keep some hard-boiled for snacks.
  • Cans of low-sodium vegetable soup - can be a snack or a meal.
  • Nuts and seeds such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds - they should be raw or toasted without added salt, sugar or oil.