The Importance of Healthy Snacks for Back to School Success
We know that fuelling children with nutritious food helps to support healthy growth and development but what’s often overlooked is how diet can also improve mental health, academic performance, and actually enhance cognitive skills (like concentration and memory).
With demanding class schedules, after-school activities, and homework, students need to be at their best both physically and mentally. They’re expected to be alert, focused, and attentive which can be quite a challenge if they don't have a balanced and nutrient-rich diet (full of lean protein, low-GI carbohydrates and healthy fats).
A diet high in added fats, sugars and salt (such as lollies, chips, soft drinks, and fried foods) has been connected to emotional and behavioural problems.
- Excessive salt intake (from foods like hot chips, packaged crisps, pies, and other fried foods) can lead to elevated blood pressure, which can cause headaches and fatigue, and potentially affect concentration and focus in the classroom.
- Sugary snacks and drinks (like flavoured milk, soft drink, juice poppers, ice-blocks, lollies, roll-ups and other sweets) provide quick bursts of energy which are often short-lived, leaving students feeling sluggish and unfocused.
- High carbohydrate diets (especially from high-GI sources) cause spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to feelings of fatigue and decreased alertness.
In addition to affecting mood and energy levels, a diet high in these nutrient-lacking foods can also contribute to weight gain and negatively impact physical health.
Healthy snacks, on the other hand, are often packed with essential nutrients that support brain function, improve concentration, and keep energy levels steady throughout the day.
Here are our dietitian’s healthy snack recommendations:
- Veggie sticks with dip (e.g. hummus)
- Cheese and crackers
- Nuts (if the school allows)
- Fodbod Buddies
Our Buddies are free from gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, sesame and eggs, and are low in sugar and high in fibre, making them the perfect lunchbox snack! They’re also plant based and certified FODMAP friendly which means everyone can enjoy them.
As you can see, encouraging healthy food choices in childhood has long-lasting effects, promoting academic success and long-term health and well-being. While striving for a balanced and nutritious lunch box is important, we acknowledge and understand that parents and students may occasionally face challenges. That’s why flexibility and balance are essential when forming routines and maintaining healthy habits (so don’t be too hard on yourself, you’ve got this!).