As children adjust to life back in the classroom across Central New York, health experts say they may need a few reminders when it comes to getting the proper nutrition and physical activity.
The American Heart Association says eating right starts in the morning and is essential for a good start to the day, but eating right carries through the day — kids typically consume 35-50% of their daily calories while in school, according to the AHA.
Whether it is meals packed from home or lunch bought in school, kids should get vegetables or a healthy side, the AHA says.
American Heart Association officials said it’s also important to make sure kids are getting healthy snacks after school. Instead of letting children have free reign, try to limit their intake of salty and sugary foods before dinner.
“I would just suggest to avoid those real sugary foods, the saltier foods. And, really just choose healthier options especially when its close to that dinner hour so that they’re making sure they’re eating a full good meal at dinner time,” said Crouse Hospital Chief Nursing Officer Lynne Shopiro.
Shopiro is the president-elect of the advisory board for the American Heart Association in Syracuse.
She recommended parents have their kids to help put together their lunches. In many cases, kids are likely to eat their lunch if they had their choice in what fruit or other selections are included.
It’s also recommended kids avoid sugary drinks and stick to water or school purchased milk for less sugar intake.
The American Heart Association also recommends a few other things for a healthier lifestyle for kids.
They said parents should ensure their kids are getting an adequate amount of sleep at night. It’s also important to make sure kids are getting enough exercise during the day, as a recent study put out by the American Heart Association says 60% of kids do not have healthy cardiorespiratory fitness, a key measure of physical fitness and overall health.