Getting your kids back into the habit of going to school can be hectic and stressful. Making sure that they are properly dressed, have all of the necessary supplies, and have completed their homework can seem like a nightmare. In the midst of this, us parents can easily forget the most important thing...proper nutrition.
Eating a chemical-free and balanced diet is crucial, not just to stay healthy, but it aids proper sleep, and helps them stay focused!
|What I packed for my kids for a recent trip to the zoo! I tend to focus on non-Gmo and organic as much as possible!|
Here are my top 3 tips on how to keep your child healthy and focused throughout the school year!
1. Reusable or BPA-free Sandwich & Snack Bags
According to the Sierra Club, the average family spends $85 per year on disposable bags. Not only are plastic a waste of money (because literally, you are throwing money in the trash), but are made from #4 plastic and contain LDPE, low density polyethylene and BPA. Now, this chemical isn't released until the plastic has deteriorated and achieves a "cloudy" appearance from multiple use. Is a new bag safe? Well that I cannot say for sure, but I won't risk it.
I prefer ReUsies lunch and snack bags since they are CPSIA compliant and are free of BPA and phthalates. Each $15 set comes with a sandwich and snack bag. They are easy to wash and dry pretty quickly. If reusable bags are not your personal taste, you can purchase eco-friendly bags. I love the WEXY snack bags, which come in a box of 28 for $3.99. They are USA-made, biodegradable, BPA Free, and recyclable. WEXY bags can also be reused...so they are an incredibly cheap option! If your children remember to not toss them in the garbage or recycling bin.
2. Limit...If Not, Restrict Juice
Even those juices that are marketed as "healthy" or loaded with a serving of veggies are still pretty high in sugar content - even if they are no-sugar added. Want to hear something pretty alarming? Consumer Reports had released a study and concluded that "roughly 10 percent of the apple and grape juice samples that were tested by [their] magazine contained total levels of arsenic that exceeded federal standards set for drinking water — and the majority of that arsenic, contrary to what the FDA said previously, was the harmful inorganic kind".
88 samples had been taken and the brands Apple & Eve, Great Value, Mott’s, Walgreens, and Welch’s ranked the worst with levels of 27 parts per billion. That is almost 3x the federal standard amount that is deemed "safe", which is 10 parts per billion. In addition, these juices also included traces of lead.
If you give any juice to your children at all, opt for the organic. American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than 6 ounces of fruit juice per day for children between the ages of 6 months to 6 years old, and no more than 12 ounces for older children. Excessive juice intake is not only a factor that can cause obesity can also cause diarrhea which can lead to malnourishment.
Instead opt for water (we filter our water with a Berkey active alumina system to remove contaminants, chlorine, and fluoride), organic milk, or milk substitutes such as almond.
3. Eat Clean Fruit, Fats, Protein, and Veggies
Did you know? (Data taken from Maximized Living.com)
- 3,000+ chemicals are added to our food supply.
- 10,000+ chemicals are used in food processing, preserving and storage.
- 3 million tons of pesticides are used, with 1,600 chemicals used in their production.
It is also important that your children are consuming plenty of healthy fats, protein, veggies, and fruit. My children are "grazers" they like a little bit of everything, so a meal with a wide selection is ideal.
Here is my kids favorite lunch menu (of course choosing organic, free of hormones, and free of antibiotics):
- Raw almonds (raw almonds are rich in flavonoids and help offset free-radical damage, help to stabilize blood sugar, high in vitamin E, and high in monounsaturated fats which help lower cholesterol)
- Broccoli or carrot sticks
- Berries (low glycemic and high in antioxidants)
- Cubed & lightly seasoned chicken served with a cucumber & dill Greek yogurt dipping sauce
For more tips and useful information, be sure to check out The Healthy Child's new free eBook Easy Steps to Healthy Schools & Daycares! This eBook is a comprehensive but easy-to-read resource created to help parents identify environmental toxins in schools and daycare centers. Be sure to check it out!
Also check out the Maximized Living website for more health support. You might just save your life!
Disclaimer : This is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive compensation of any kind for it.
Everyday Health - http://www.everydayhealth.com/kids-health/the-real-reason-kids-shouldnt-drink-apple-juice.aspx
Greenhouse Neutral Foundation - http://greenhouseneutralfoundation.org/articles/2010/06/05/bpa-in-plastic-wrap-sandwich-bags-too/
Natural Resources Defense Council - http://www.nrdc.org/living/shoppingwise/plastics-faqs.asp