Back to School: Food for Thoughts

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch we’re talking about getting ready to send kids back to school. Previously, we discussed the importance of kids getting enough sleep. Another part of the school success equation is proper nutrition.

Thinking great thoughts requires food to fuel those thoughts. Start with a good breakfast. Bernadette Latson, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says a bowl of warm oatmeal will boost levels of calming brain chemicals to help lower stress levels, and orange juice helps keep the immune system healthy.

At lunchtime, UT Southwestern dietitian Lona Sandon suggests proteins, like lean lunch meats or peanut butter, on whole-grain bread. Don’t forget some fruits and vegetables. Yogurt in a tube or pudding cups made with skim milk are good lunch-box desserts. A glass of milk is a good addition to a calming bedtime ritual. Not only is it important for healthy bones, but milk also contains chemicals that lower tension for restful sleep.

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August 2011

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