Make sure your child is going to school with healthy food that they will enjoy. File photo

Island Health offers back to school nutrition tips

Hydration is also important - send them to school with a water bottle

It’s time to start thinking outside the brown bag!

As children and teens head back to class they will need more than just books and pens to have a successful year; they will also need healthy, nutritious and interesting snacks and lunches.

Parents and guardians should be sending children to school with a water bottle for hydration along with healthy snacks and a well-balanced lunch to feed their kids’ active brains and bodies.

“Colour is the most visible indicator that your child’s lunch will successfully support learning,” said Areli Hermanson, Island Health dietitian. “Green and orange vegetables, blue and red fruit, we can tell by just by looking at them that they are packed with vitamins and nutrients.”

Hermanson said snacks are also an important addition to the “packed” lunch.

“Don’t underestimate the value of a great snack,” she added. “Snacks can keep younger children from being cranky between meals. For teens and picky eaters of all ages, snacks may be the only guarantee your kids are getting any nutrients while they’re away from home.”

Power lunches:

• Pack protein – meat & alternatives (i.e. chicken, eggs and lentils)

• Choose single-serving lower-fat milk, plain yogurt and cheese (not processed)

• Substitute sandwiches with whole grain crackers, tortilla, naan or mini pitas

• Warm-up leftovers that your kids love and make sure they stay warm in an insulated thermos

• Send home-made soup with a whole grain breadstick or a bun

Super snacks:

• Fresh fruit

• Crunchy vegetables (send along salad dressing if it makes the veggies more appealing)

• Granola bars (preferably homemade but store-bought can be healthy too)

• Nuts in classrooms where there are no allergies. (Spreads like Wow Butter are excellent substitutes for peanut butter.)

Visit the Healthy Schools page on the Island Health website for more including best start breakfast.

Just Posted

Climate strike draws huge crowd in Duncan

Millions strike for climate worldwide

‘Youthful exuberance’ or ‘grievous deed’: opinion is divided on Trudeau’s ‘brown face’ costume

Local Liberal candidate asks voters to concentrate on Prime Minister’s political record

Cowichan residents invited to apply for seats on affordable housing committees

Lack of affordable housing a critical issue in the Cowichan region

North Cowichan to consider contracts for new RCMP building

Looks to contractors working on similar construction in Fort St. John

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Takaya, B.C.’s intriguing lone wolf, seen eating seal and howling away on Discovery Island

Fun facts about Takaya the wolf, like his a 36-hour tour around Chatham, Discovery Islands

Resident finds loaded shotgun inside a duffle bag in Kelowna alleyway

RCMP seized a loaded 12-gauge shotgun, ammunition, clothing and other items

Graffiti, calls and Snapchat: RCMP probe string of threats targeting Kamloops schools

There have been nine different threats made to four different schools in the city

Most Read