As the school year kicks into gear, parents everywhere are dusting off their lunch-packing skills, gearing up for the daily ritual of filling lunch boxes with nutritious goodies. While the thought of assembling countless ‘Crunch&Sip’ boxes might initially induce a sigh, let’s pause to consider the myriad benefits this routine offers beyond just meeting nutritional needs.
The Crunch & Sip Phenomenon
The Crunch & Sip Program was introduced to all Western Australian primary schools in 2005, as a way to increase the amount of vegetables, fruits and water being consumed by WA school children. But aside from the nutritional benefits, there are a host of other advantages. From boosting sensory stimulation to sharpening focus and enhancing emotional regulation, we explore the reasons that crunchy foods are a wonderful addition to your child’s lunchbox.
Crunchy foods engage multiple senses simultaneously, providing a sensory-rich experience for children. Sensory experiences play a pivotal role in a child’s cognitive and emotional development.
Improved Focus and Cognition:
Sensory experiences, like chewing, activate areas of the brain associated with attention and focus, priming the brain for learning and cognitive tasks.
Dopamine Release and Motivation:
Crunchy foods may influence dopamine release in the brain, enhancing motivation and focus. This neurological response can help children stay engaged and attentive during tasks.
Crunchy foods are thought to have a calming effect on children, aiding in emotional regulation and stress reduction.
Chewing crunchy foods promotes jaw strength and development, essential for speech and oral motor skills.
Incorporating crunchy foods into your child’s diet not only adds delightful texture but also contributes to their overall well-being. Here’s a list of healthy crunchy foods you can include in your child’s lunch box:
- Carrot sticks
- Celery sticks
- Cucumber slices
- Capsicum strips
- Apple slices
- Pear slices
- Grapes (cut in halves for younger children)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Sugar snap peas
For more tips and strategies around how to support your child to reach their full potential, please get in touch via email@example.com.