Keeping kids healthy this school year

It's almost time to pull out the lunchboxes as kids get ready to head back to school. NBC15 is helping you keep your kids healthy this school year.

With a month before school starts, experts suggest planning out some healthy lunch options now, before the school year begins.

"Fruit, vegetable, protein and milk should always be included," said registered dietician Marianne Merrick.

Merrick suggests bringing kids grocery shopping to allow them to pick out healthy options they're excited to eat. When it comes to picking foods, Merrick says easy isn't always better.

"Pre-packaged foods, really aren't healthy for us, we really want to go back to the whole foods," she said.

One way to encourage your kids to eat fruits and vegetables is to cut them up in cubes, and pack them with a healthy dip like almond butter.

Eating healthy isn't always a piece of cake Julie Jensen, mom of four boys, but she says it's worth the effort.

"We find that there's definitely a correlation between healthy eating and being active and having the energy to get through the day," Jensen said.

Every night after dinner, she takes 30 minutes to prepare meals for the next day.

"It's the same thing as teaching them how to be kind and be a good friend, I think it's important to teach them how to take care of their bodies because they only get one, and you want to take care of it as best you can," Jensen said.

Another key component to keeping kids healthy is encouraging good hygiene practices. Dr. Megan Jensen, family medicine physician, says she sees a spike in sick kids every year when school starts.

"Make sure that your kids are always washing their hands before meals, anytime they come back in the house and anytime they use the restroom," Dr. Jensen said.

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