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Breakfast is important!

Encourage your kids to eat breakfast from an early age. Eating breakfast will prevent your child from getting hungry in the morning and will help them concentrate and stay active at school. Cereal and milk is a great option but keep the sugar-coated cereals for occasional treats and choose high fibre cereals more often!

School lunches

Keep lunchboxes balanced and interesting. Include a healthy sandwich, dried or fresh fruit and yoghurt as snacks and water (sparkling or still) instead of cold drinks or fruit juice. While treats can be included on an occasional basis, try not to make it the norm. Be careful of giving your child tuck shop money instead of a packed lunch as they are not likely to make healthy choices. Tuck shop should be the exception, not the rule!

Family meal times

Sit down meal times are important to establish a good relationship with food. Don’t argue about food and create a positive environment. TV and cell phones should be banned over meal times and the focus should be on the meal. Teach your children some nutrition facts such as “milk is good for your bones.” Let your kids help with meal planning and preparation, but don’t make it seem like a chore!

Drinks

Cold drinks and even fruit juice are high in concentrated sugars and are not needed for a healthy diet. Children should be encouraged to drink water rather than sugary drinks. Encourage water intake during the week and allow a cold drink as a treat on the weekend. Milk is a great source of protein and calcium and can be included as a dairy serving.

Physical Activity

Exercise is one of the cornerstones of good health. Encourage your child to take up a sport or outdoor hobby and support them by practising with them and going to watch their games or events. Limit TV/computer time to an hour or two a day and encourage outdoor games and activities instead of computer games or PlayStation etc. Doing something active as a family over the weekends is a great way to keep your kids active and something that they will consider part of life later on!