This week is active week in our school. We are encouraging all children to wear tracksuits to school this week. As well as this we encouraging children to walk to school, take a family cycle to the park and be as active as possible. Enjoy exercise, its great fun and so good for us.
Our school tour with 4th and 5th class was a brilliant day in the Crystal Maze in Co Meath. I couldn't help but notice how happy the children were when they got back to nature, simply splashing and having fun in a little stream. This was definitely the highlight of the day for the children. It was both shallow and safe which is obviously the most important aspect. And the teachers didn't escape from receiving a splashing either! Great fun was had by all and often the greatest playgrounds are what nature provides.
5th class spent some time learning about the sugar content in foods and drinks. In doing so the children calculated grams and then converted into spoon fulls of sugar. It was a real fun project and the children learned a lot about the amount of sugar in every day foods and drinks.
With the May week off school upon us and the sun to be shining I am sure there will be lots of picnics and trips to the park. And maybe even a trip to the beach for some!
During this time it gives us a great opportunity to explore healthy snacks for our children to ensure we fuel those high energy levels. Great snacks that are easy to pack include fruits, popcorn, yogurts, smoothies and cheese. And they are full of goodness.
Of course who doesn't like an ice cream on a sunny day, maybe just not every day! The week off can also allow us to explore the amazing nature in parks as the summer wildlife has arrived. See what new animals come to life at this beautiful time of the year. Have a great week off, stay hydrated, use sun cream and be active active active.
Here is a pretty well prepared lunch by someone who clearly has lots of time!! However not everyone has the time or patients to do the same. Remember its not how the lunch box looks, its the content that matters. The food in this lunch box is packed with vitamins and goodness to keep children energised and focused for the day. Whether its finely prepared and looks a million dollars or is placed all together in a box is irrelevant, all that matters is whats in the lunch box!!
Eating 5 a day gives children vital nutrients that ensures they remain healthy and full of energy throughout the school day. The 5 a day can vary with lots of different types of fruit and veg available. Keep trying new types of fruit and veg as eating a variety will ensure a wide range of tastes and nutrients for your child.
IRELAND’S ONE MILLIONTH parkrun happened last weekend
The free weekly 5-kilometre timed runs started in November 2012. There are now 75 parkruns and 13 junior parkruns across the country. Our local runs include Tymon park and Marlay park.
So far there have been almost 9,200 events in Ireland with an average of 104 runners at each run. Parkrun Ireland country manager Matt Shields said, “The milestone of one million parkruns is a great contribution to this vision and involves people of all ages and abilities".
The park runs are absolutely free once you register and have proved to be a fantastic initiative to encourage physical activity in Ireland. Walk, jog or run, that's entirely up to you! I love to take part myself and as the weather improves I aim to get there every Saturday. Maybe you will too.
Experts recommend that children should consume approximately 20g of sugar per day, that is about 5 tea spoons. The pictures illustrate the sugar content of simple every day foods like cereal, jam and yogurts.
According to the experts the foods children eat are important for brain development. "The foods children eat can affect focus and cognitive skills" says psychiatrist Drew Ramsey, MD, co-author of The Happiness Diet and Fifty Shades of Kale.
These 6 foods can help kids stay sharp and affect how their brains develop well into the future.
1. Eggs. The protein and nutrients in eggs help kids concentrate.
2. Greek Yogurt. Fat is important to brain health, says Laura Lagano, RD. A full-fat Greek yogurt (which has more protein that other yogurts) can help keep brain cells in good form for sending and receiving information.
3. Greens. Full of folate and vitamins and packed with antioxidants that help the brain cells grow.
4. Fish. Fish is a good source of vitamin d and omega-3s, which protect the brain from declining mental skills and memory loss.
5. Nuts and Seeds. Packed with protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, nuts and seeds may boost mood and keep your nervous system in check.
6. Apples and Plums. Kids often crave sweets, especially when they're feeling sluggish. Apples and plums are lunchbox-friendly and contain quercetin, an antioxidant that may fight decline in mental skills.
The research indicates that the foods our children eat can have a positive impact on brain development and concentration. An interesting concept.
PE is about to change for everybody. From September 2018, it will be offered as a full examinable Leaving Cert subject, giving students interested in sports and exercise a chance to play to their strengths. This new subject will highlight the importance of physical activity for children and will bring PE in line with other subjects.
Dr Sarahjane Belton is a lecturer in physical education at DCU and a former Irish rugby international. “PE has too often been sacrificed for other subjects or if the sports hall is needed for something else. A junior cycle PE curriculum has already been developed and implemented as part of a wellbeing programme and it is compulsory for each child to get a double period of PE per week. It has been hard for principals to timetable but at least the intent is there"
Stephen Moore, president of the PE Association of Ireland, agrees that PE has too often been relegated.
"Until now, there has been no guide for PE teachers. A lot of PE was given by unqualified teachers, often soccer or GAA coaches who were promoting their activity and not placing the necessary emphasis on fundamental movement skills. PE teachers recognised a number of years ago that, because of increasingly sedentary lifestyles, children were not developing the fundamental movement skills – such as catching, hopping, striking and skipping – that form the basis of all physical literacy.”
This step alone will not solve the child obesity issues that we have in Ireland, however it is a very positive step in encouraging physical activity for teenagers.