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Back to School!

30 August 2023

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It’s “Back to School” time again, which can mean busy mornings and stressed parents! 

Establishing a good routine and focusing on nutritious choices can have a positive impact on children's overall health and well-being. Here are some tips that we hope will make things easier;


  1. Energy-boosting Breakfast:
    • Look for energy-boosting and high-fibre breakfast options e.g. porridge.
    • Porridge made with milk is nutritious; add fruits like banana, apple for sweetness, and cinnamon for flavour.
    • Avoid sugary breakfast bars.
  2. Tooth-Friendly Lunchbox:
    • Pack the lunchbox ahead of time to avoid morning rush.
    • Include healthy snacks like wholemeal crackers, low-fat Greek yogurt, unsalted popcorn, and veggies like cherry tomatoes, cucumber, sliced peppers, or carrots.
    • Keep fruits whole or sliced to minimise sugar release (once fruit is turned into juice or smoothie it releases the sugar in it).
    • Homemade vegetable soup in a flask is a good option for older children during winter months.
    • Reduce sugary snacks and opt for healthier options. 
    • Avoid raisins and dried fruits as they can stick to teeth and create a sugar attack. 
  3. Drinks:
    • Plain water and milk are the best drink choices.
    • Avoid fizzy drinks. Even sugar free fizzy drinks can damage the teeth due to their acidity and potential for tooth erosion.
  4. Oral Hygiene:
    • Brush teeth twice daily using a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste (at least 1000ppm) from age two.
    • Supervise children's brushing until age seven and encourage spitting out toothpaste without rinsing afterward.
    • Mouthguards are essential for protecting teeth during sports activities.
  5. Hidden Sugars:
    • Be aware of hidden sugars in foods like pasta sauces and ketchup.
    • Check food labels and aim for products with no more than 5g of sugar per 100g.
  6. Dental Visits:
    • Schedule dental check-ups at least once a year.
    • Dentists can provide guidance on oral care and identify issues early.

By following these tips, you can help ensure your child's health and well-being during the back-to-school period and beyond. A healthy routine and mindful choices contribute to overall dental hygiene and general wellness.

For more healthy lunch box ideas see SafeFoods "Healthy Lunchboxes" leaflet.