How to Find the Right Foods to Fuel Early Mornings, Study Sessions, After School Activities and More!
Heading Back to School
Leaves are crunching, there’s a chill in the air, that yellow school bus is rounding the corner…It’s hard to switch our mindset from lazy summer days full of sun and sand back to the school calendar filled with homework, deadlines and not enough time in the day. But, there is one easy way to make the transition a breeze and elevate performance in the classroom that you probably haven’t even thought about: have a snack!
Importance of Snacks
It’s easy to think of food as only breakfast, lunch and dinner, but research shows the importance of “grazing” (a.k.a. grabbing a snack between meals). In fact, not only does snacking lead to better cognitive performance, it also results in a more positive mood throughout the day. The types of snacks are just as important; in the same grazing study, fruit led to lower stress, where less healthy snacks, like chips and chocolate, were found to be associated with higher stress.
Here’s another little known secret (backed by actual science!): crunchy and chewy snacks can improve focus. The reason behind this is double “C” snacks, like apples, pretzels, cheeses, peanut butter (watch out for allergies), and even dry cereals, provide “heavy” input to the jaw and require more effort from the muscles to fully masticate. This can help increase attention, especially in children with sensory needs.
Balancing Taste with Nutrition
Food is fuel. It’s important to put the right kind of fuel in our bodies, especially for young children. We all want to eat chicken nuggets and fruit gummies for every meal, but that’s not maximizing the potential of our bodies and minds. Just like you don’t want to fill up your Prius with diesel fuel, you don’t want your child to be eating a chocolate bar in the middle of soccer practice—there’s a reason those orange slices at halftime became a cliché!
For kids who have dietary restrictions, peer pressure can be a big issue. For a young person recently diagnosed with Celiac disease, for example, it can be hard to resist crackers at a friend’s house after school or cupcakes at a birthday party. Fill their backpack up with gluten free snacks when they’re leaving in the morning, so they don’t feel left out when their friends are chowing down. This goes for anyone with nut allergies, vegan diets, or any other types of food requirements.
Food is Fun!
There’s so much information to take in and so many scientific studies relating to snacks that it can feel overwhelming. That’s why, at the end of the day, it’s important to remember it can just be really fun to enjoy a snack! Take the stress out of packing lunches and finding the perfect nutrient rich mid-afternoon snacks by teaming up with us at SmartBox. Pop on over to our online store and take part in our “Back to School” sale, today!