Diet Tips for Getting Kids to Focus in the Classroom

Indy Style

What can we look for on food labels to give our kids a leg up in the classroom? What are some tips to ensure a productive day in the classroom?

Tonya Harris, Holistic Nutrition Expert, shares the BIG THREE ingredients to be on the lookout for – 

1. Artificial Colors – 
Where to look for them: cereals, crackers, ketchup, mustard, fruit snacks, pudding, and even in medicines, toothpaste, and mouthwash
2. Benzoate preservatives – 
Where to look for them: soft drinks, flavored water, soy sauce, pickles, pepper rings, and tomato sauce
3. Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – 
Where to look for it: chips, salad dressings, sauces, commercial soups, and even spices

Diet Tips for Getting Kids to Focus in the Classroom


How to AVOID these ingredients
– Pay special attention to colors followed by numbers on the label (such as Red No. 40 or Yellow No. 6)
– Remember sugar has many names – look for words on the label ending in “-ose” such as fructose or maltose
– Look for safer alternatives – foods and beverages colored with natural colorings such as turmeric and beet powder
Breakfast and snack time tips to ensure a productive school day
– Cut up fruits and veggies the night before so they’re easy to grab and go in the morning
Tonya’s seasonal winter picks are: carrots, snap peas, grapefruit, apples, kiwi, Brussels sprouts
– Start the day off with a healthy breakfast that includes a complex carbohydrate and protein *This combo helps keep blood sugar levels steady, which optimizes focus and attention in the classroom
Tonya’s favorite pairings are: apple and almond butter, oatmeal (steel-cut or rolled) with blueberries and cinnamon, scrambled eggs and avocado slices, hard-boiled egg with salsa and avocado slices
– Have a snack bowl full of a healthy snack waiting on the kitchen table for the kids when they get back from school

Diet Tips for Getting Kids to Focus in the Classroom

Tonya’s go-to afternoon snacks are: carrots and hummus, celery and almond butter, cucumber with hummus, grapes with yogurt, organic corn chips and guacamole, veggie slices with hummus or homemade ranch dressing, roasted sweet potato slices.

To learn more, visit www.slightlygreener.com.

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