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August/ September 2000  -  Volume 3  -  Issue 6

Keep Your Child Well at School
Lee Hickling- Health Correspondent

 Summer's over and most parents feel a mixture of pride, relief and worry as children go off to school.

 Sickness and Infections -Parents may not be able to completely shield their children from school violence or illegal drugs. However, they can do something to protect kids from almost universal dangers people often overlook: inadequate nutrition, infectious diseases, playground external sites will injuries, poor air quality and stress.

 Nutrition and Food Safety - Parents have control over two of the day's three meals: control over their Children's breakfast and dinner. A good content for breakfast, a healthy lunch and availability. A nutritionally complete dinner can be hard for working moms and dads to provide, but it can be done.

Sleeping until the last minute, both for parents and kids, and then grabbing something quick and easy for breakfast is a recipe for stress and mid-morning drowsiness. Get everyone to bed -- grown-ups, too – at fixed times that will allow eight solid hours of sleep. 

 Lunch is often a problem.  If your child eats school-prepared food, take a look at the menus and make sure the meals are nutritionally adequate.  Many schools prepare their menus weeks in advance and make them available to parents. If you pack your child's lunch, include a protein food, a grain, and a vegetable or fruit -- or both. Juice, if it doesn't have added sweetener, is a good drink to pack, and so is a bottle of water -- everybody needs eight glasses a day. 

 Food safety is another issue. Leaving perishable foods at room temperature from morning to lunchtime can be risky. For a safe and healthy packed lunch:

      Scrub fruits and vegetables well, even if they look pre-washed. This includes those with a hard peel, such as bananas.

      Pack lunches in an insulated box or bag, and clean it at least once a week with a bleach solution (a teaspoon of bleach in a gallon of water).

      Include an ice pack or frozen box of juice to keep food cold.

      Keep everything cold in the refrigerator until the last minute.

 Reprinted by permission of  Date Published: August 9, 2000.  Original article may be found at:

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. . . More from Our August/September 2000 Newsletter  - Volume 3, Issue 6

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