These 10 Foods Will Energize Your Kids Throughout the School Day

Prevent your child from falling asleep during math class by packing him or her an energizing lunch

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These 10 Foods Will Energize Your Kids Throughout the School Day slideshow

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Let’s face it: What you pack your kid for lunch can completely change the outcome of his or her day. Foods that undergo high amounts of processing or that contain added sugar can make your kid distracted and hyper. Others, like vegetables and whole grains, will keep your children satisfied and focused on schoolwork. I spoke with registered dietitian, nutritionist, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Kristi King about ways to choose healthy and energizing foods for your kids’ lunch. 

Almonds

Keep your kids energized all day with a healthy snack. “Almonds are not just good for parents, but kids too,” King says. “They’re a great source of B-vitamins and also contain magnesium, which is important in energy production and metabolism.”

Bananas

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If your kids want to keep up at recess, pack a banana in their lunch. “Bananas are a great source of B-vitamins and potassium, which is needed for muscle function,” King says.

Citrus Fruits

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The last thing you want is for your kids to catch the common cold. Staying awake during the school day can be difficult when your child is not feeling well. “Citrus fruits such as oranges and grapefruit are great sources of vitamin C, which is necessary for immune function,” King explains. “A healthy immune system will give your kid the extra push he or she needs!”

Crunchy Raw Vegetables

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There is always room for vegetables in your child’s lunchbox. “Any type of raw vegetables can be very energizing,” King says. “Hearing the cracking, crunching, and snapping of the veggies energizes your kids. Not to mention, vegetables are filled vitamins, and their fiber will help to keep your littles ones full during the day.”

Eggs

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Eggs are no longer just for an energizing breakfast. “Whether they are scrambled or hard boiled, eggs are a great food for energy,” King says. “They’re a good source of bioavailable protein; B-vitamins, which are necessary for energy; and choline, which is important for brain function.”

Fish

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An energized child begins with a healthy and hardworking brain.If you can get kids to eat fish, like salmon, it will provide a good source of protein and healthy fats,” King says. “The omega-3 fats are essential for brain health and keeping sharp in the classroom!”

Milk

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Never give your children energy drinks to keep them awake throughout the day. “Milk is good source of protein and has essential carbohydrates that will give your child a boost they need to get through the day. Not to mention, they will get a healthy dose of calcium and vitamin D for their bones too!”

Seeds

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Energizing snacks can really make a difference in your child’s day. “Seeds, such as sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds, are full of protein, fiber, magnesium, and zinc,” King says. “These are all necessary for keeping us running.”

Water

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Another reason your children could be suffering from lack of energy is because they are dehydrated. “Many times we think we are hungry, but really thirsty,” King says. “Every cell in our body requires water. Therefore, making sure our kids stay hydrated will keep their energy levels up throughout the day.”

Whole-Grain Cereals

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If your kids don’t like sandwiches, switch over to something just as healthy. “Whole-grain cereals are usually fortified with the necessary B-vitamins needed for energy production,” King says. “Not to mention, with the whole-grain cereals, you get fiber too, which keeps your kids full and focused.”