There’s no denying that modern life is stressful, even for children. Social media and the always-on culture thanks to technology mean that there is less opportunity for youngsters to enjoy downtime.
At school, there is a pressure to learn, naturally, but is there anything that educational establishments could do to help children to stay healthy not only physically but also mentally?
A recent article for the Deccan Herald has provided some advice on what schools can do to help their students in this regard.
The first recommendation is to ensure that there is an emotional counsellor who students can talk to. The aim is to give youngsters someone who they can talk to about anything that is weighing on them. It’s hoped that in doing so, students will be able to unburden themselves and understand that their feelings matter.
Food is another thing that schools should look at. “A balanced meal not only makes the body and mind feel healthy, but it also helps children focus better and stay full and satiated for longer hours,” the publication noted.
One of its suggestions is to make use of a nutritionist, who can advise on school meal planning to ensure that children are always served a balanced and healthy meal. Working with a specialist school catering company could be another way to introduce this expertise.
Encouraging students to participate in sports is also important. The news provider noted that exercise is “a great tool to help students develop focus, have a healthy body and stay happy”. It also notes that exercise can take many forms, from team sports and athletics to swimming.
Yoga practice could form part of this, although the news provider suggested that this could form a separate part of the school day to help youngsters practice mindfulness, as well as stretch their bodies and help them to build strength.
The Metro recently had a look back at packed school lunches over the decades in the UK, revealing that the foods children are sent to school with nowadays are considered to be healthier than what we were eating in the 1980s and ‘90s.
A good range of fruit and vegetables, as well as protein, is being included in the packed lunches of many children. There’s also less of a reliance on processed food than there was for previous generations, the news provider noted.
Some of the typical lunchbox items that were mentioned in the article included Wagon Wheel biscuits (from the ‘80s), cubes of cheese and pineapple (from the ‘70s), and Capri-Sun (from the ‘90s).
Jenny, a nutritionist, told the newspaper that parents who are worried about what to put in their children’s lunchboxes should follow some simple rules.
“Just stepping away from excess fats and added preservatives will do wonders for your child’s health,” she asserted.
This is also good advice for anyone who is planning school meals, as giving children the right kinds of food at lunchtime can help them to maintain their focus into their afternoon lessons.