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Eating Healthy Helps Hoosier Kids Succeed in School

Photo: registered dietician Kim Galeaz   Photo credit: Kim Galeaz
Photo: registered dietician Kim Galeaz Photo credit: Kim Galeaz
September 4, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - With kids back in school, Hoosier parents are reminded that eating right is important for children's bodies as well as their brains. Registered dietician Kim Galeaz says parents need to get creative with making school lunches. She says start with sandwiches and change up the bread...

"Do the whole-wheat-flour tortillas and make wraps, use the pita pockets that you can stuff with things. How about mini-bagels or regular-size bagels or something that's very popular right now, like sliders. You can actually use those mini slider buns and make several little sandwiches for your child."

Galeaz says it's important kids eat protein and complex carbohydrates so they don't get hungry and their blood sugar doesn't spike. She says chips are fine in moderation, but suggests an alternative whole-grain food - popcorn.

Galeaz says peanut butter and jelly can get old after a while, so change it up, too.

"You can even consider using soy-nut butter, almond butter or sunflower butter, if it fits in your budget, because this is a nice flavor difference but still gives you all the nutrition that the peanut butter does."

The nutritionist says there are ways you can sneak in a few veggies. Baby carrots are a favorite...

"Kids love cut-up strips of red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppers. They also love the sugar snap peas that you can buy. Peanut butter in celery sticks with the raisins on it is a great way to get a vegetable in."

The American Heart Association offers advice on childhood nutrition and health at heart.org/kids.


Leigh DeNoon, Public News Service - IN