CPS reminds parents and guardians to prepare healthy school snacks for kids throughout 2023-2024 school year

Health-related behaviors may play a role in the ability to learn. Critical stages of brain maturation occur early in life, and with the kick-off of the new school year, the Collective Prevention Services (CPS), executing agency of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour, would like to share some information related to the aforementioned.
The St. Maarten Health Study of 2015, “How Healthy is St. Maarten?” indicated that on a daily basis 31 per cent of the
participants don’t consume breakfast; 63 per cent don’t consume vegetables and 66 per cent don’t consume fruits.  Based on these results it is likely that this lifestyle is also practiced by their descendants.
CPS recommends parents and guardians to prepare healthy snacks for their children, encourage drinking of water and
promote physical activity throughout the new school year 2023-2024.  Healthy choices equal healthy children and healthy smiles!
According to information available to the World Health Organization (WHO), “because diet affects specific outcomes that are important for children’s educational attainment.
Improving the nutritional status of school-age children is an effective investment for improving educational outcomes of school children and ensuring a healthy population.
Establishing healthy dietary and physical activity patterns among young people promotes health and nutritional well-being, helps prevent obesity and various non-communicable diseases.
In making healthy foods and beverages available at home and for school, and in providing, supporting, and encouraging opportunities for physical activity, parents can influence their children’s behavior.
Parents, guardians, and adults in general are also advised to live and promote a healthy lifestyle because children’s behavior is often shaped by observation and adaptation.
Here are some tips for children and adolescents: provide healthy breakfast before each school day; don’t leave home without breakfast; serve healthy school snacks to children (whole-grain, vegetables, fruits); promote and encourage the intake of fruits and vegetables. Introduce the children to local fruits e.g., sour sap, guava, passion fruit, mango, etc.
Restrict intake of energy-dense, micronutrient-poor foods (e.g., packaged snacks); restrict intake of sugar-sweetened soft drinks; ensure an opportunity for family meals; provide information and skills to make healthy food choices.
Promote regular intake of water and physical exercise and get your child involved in sport activities. CPS’s call is for all to continue to work towards a healthy and enriched community, and make a healthy decision.
For more information, contact CPS at 542-1122, 542-1222 or 542-3003.