How to Help Growing Children Get What They Nutritionally Need

*this is a paid for advertorial with Arla Goodness. All words and opinions are my own.

If you are anything like me, then the summer holidays will feel like such a long time ago. The evenings are getting darker sooner and the temperatures are dropping. But it has been good to get back into a routine, and back into the swing of things like school and work. 

One thing that I do worry about when my children are at school, and when we are dashing to swimming lessons one minute and piano lessons the next, is if they are getting enough of a varied diet to get everything that they need. I know what they are having for breakfast and dinner, but with school lunches, who knows what they are actually eating? In theory, we get a menu from the school, so I should have a rough idea, but will my child have only eaten the rice or only eaten the chips rather than the protein and veggies on the plate? It does worry me a little. Plus, I know that as my children are getting older and wanting to be more and more independent, it is something that I do think about, as I want them to be healthy and have a good relationship with food. But for quick grab-and-go snacks, I know I need to be more organised to make some better options for them from scratch as so many things ready to buy are just full of sugar. So I am always on the lookout for things that are going to benefit them, as well as us a family, when it comes to nutrition.

I know that one of the key things that growing children (as well as adults) need is plenty of calcium. A good source of calcium comes from dairy products. In fact, dairy provides the highest source of calcium, a mineral that is important for our growing children, as it supports the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. But to be honest, it is something that I have always been a little confused about. Since being diagnosed with PCOS I was told by a GP to avoid dairy. I didn’t, but that was what I was told. But after working with a nutritionist recently, who is endorsed by the Association for Nutrition (meaning it is in her best interest to provide correct information), she confirmed to me that there is no evidence indicating that dairy has a detrimental impact on PCOS. And as part of a healthy balanced diet, dairy is an important food group. So having some dairy in our home that can give us a nutritional boost and provide us with plenty of calcium is something that is always a winner.

Arla has a new milk, Arla Goodness, that is like semi-skimmed milk but lower in fat at just 1% fat. Plus, it has a little more of milk’s natural benefits, that provides 50% of an adult’s calcium requirement in one 250ml glass. And with 30% more protein as well, it gives you more bang for your buck, so to speak. So having milk with our cereal or porridge each morning, something we all do, means that we can get a good amount of calcium in before they’re even headed off to school.

Other than having milk with our breakfast, we do like to add it into smoothies, but also like to drink it in hot coco. And with autumn around the corner, this is something that I know we will be doing more and more on a chilly evening. A nice treat that will actually be full of more goodness than they would be getting with alternatives. 

Here are a few other things that I plan on doing when my children are back at school, to make sure that they are having as much of a balanced and varied diet as they can. 

  • Juice boxes or fruit juice pouches that can go in school bags can give our little ones around four or five cubes of sugar. So naturally, water is the natural choice for hydration. To jazz it up a little, frozen slices of lemon can be popped in their water bottle to keep the water cool, as well as giving the water a fresh lemon taste by breaktime. 
  • Another way to help children get calcium into their diet can be through yoghurt. So with a plain yoghurt, mix up some raspberry puree or blitzed blueberries, to almost make a smoothie with them. These could also be made with milk and blitzed or chopped fruit and then frozen, for a tasty after school treat. 
  • Getting children involved with preparing their snack is always something that will go down much better. I know if my two help to peel carrots and things like that, as well as helping with the shopping, then they are much more likely to eat it. I also think that when you present them with a choice at the shop, like carrot sticks or cucumber sticks, they will make a choice and have some accountability over it.

Are there any other tips you think you’d add to help your child to eat well once they’re back to school? If you want to know more about Arla Goodness, then you can visit this site for more information. Arla Goodness is available in selected Tesco and Sainsbury stores now.

Have you tried Arla Goodness before? What is your preferred way to get dairy into your diet? It would be great to hear what you think.

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