As parents, we only want the best for our children. And most of us know that a good part of a child’s success is dependant on the people responsible for their care and nurturing. As part of a child’s care and prep for back to school, many families make sure that the “Back to School” eye exam is done before school starts. This is a great way to make sure that your child’s eyes are fit and functioning at their absolute best to help facilitate learning. But did you know that eye care shouldn’t end when the eye exam does? Another way to help promote healthy vision is to consistently provide your child with healthy school snacks and meal options. Healthy foods not only help feed their body but also feed their eyes and their mind!
Eye Healthy School Snacks
You’ve probably heard the old mantra “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, this must be the reason why teachers like apples… or maybe it’s because apples and other fruit are great for the body, especially the eyes!
Fruit Is Your Child’s Friend
There are so many great fruit options to take as a school snack. But one of my favourites is a crisp, juicy apple cut into wedges. Place your apple in a Tupperware container and add a splash of lemon juice to help prevent the apple from turning brown and bruising. If your child has an extra sweet tooth, sprinkle with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar and you’ll have the next best thing to apple pie! If apples aren’t a big hit on your little’s menu, try sending a cup of fruit cocktail. In reality, you can’t go wrong with a piece of fruit. Many fruits are a great healthy school snacks option because they are high in vitamin c. Vitamin C has been shown to help reduce the early onset of cataracts.
You Can’t Go Wrong with PB & J!
The classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not only a hit with children but it is a great eye healthy school snack. Peanut butter, in my opinion, should be listed as a school-kid superfood. It helps promote eye health by proving the eyes with healthy fats such Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. When making your sandwich, skip the white bread and opt for wholewheat bread for even more vitamin E and fibre benefits.
Bring on the Berries
Did you know that dried cranberries contain the same nutritional amount of fiber and antioxidants that fresh cranberries do? Antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin help aid in eye health by reducing free radicals. Dried cranberries are a great option because they are quick and easy to throw into a bag and easy to eat. Dried fruit like dried cranberries should literally be called natures candy! Throw some chocolate chips into the mix with the dried cranberries and you’re sure to have a winning snack hit.
Added Eye Protection Tips
Remember that eating well and eye exams are just a few ways to help protect your children’s eyes. Ensuring that your child wears sunglasses with UV protection while playing outdoors will also help their vision and eye health in their later years. UV damage to eye tissue is cumulative so wearing sunglasses at an early age will lessen their risk of developing serious eye conditions and diseases caused by UV damage.
Book An Eye Exam
If you missed getting your child in for their “back to school” eye exam check, it’s never too late to get them an appointment. Don’t delay and book an appointment with your optometrist. Alberta Health Care covers eye exams for children up to the age of 18. To book an appointment with one of our optometrists, you can call us at (403)255-2826 or book online here!
This article was written by Trina Vanaalst, licensed optician and registered contact lens practitioner.