Keep the kids fuelled for the school day News from ION With children heading back to school in September, here are some tips to keep the kids fuelled for the school day. 1. Prioritise breakfast Breakfast is important for children because it regulates their blood sugar levels for the day, impacting their ability to pay attention and learn. According to Public Health England, most children in the UK have had more than half the recommended amount of sugar before getting to school, and missing breakfast is associated with a 30% shorter listening span. Too much sugar can lead to energy crashes. Opt for breakfasts that are high in protein such as porridge oats with nut butter, egg and beans, or even falafels with humus, or chicken breast. 2. Don’t fret over school meals Lunch can be a time when parents lose control over what their children are eating – or not eating. Try not to worry; breakfast, snacks and your evening meal are an opportunity to give your children healthy, balanced options that you can control, so focus on optimising these. If your child does come home continuously hungry, for example, make sure they go off to school feeling satisfied and full from breakfast. After school, have a healthy snack prepared to satisfy their appetite too. 3. Support quality sleep Sleep is essential for everyone and school children aged six to 12 ideally need between nine and 12 hours per night. If your child doesn’t sleep very well, cut out sugar and ensure they are getting enough magnesium, which is helpful for sleep. Good sources of magnesium are dark, leafy vegetables, chickpeas and whole grains.