Back to school nutrition basics

The start of the school year is fast approaching, are you ready? Keep in mind these tips to make sure the school year starts off on the right foot!

  • Start each day with a healthy, balanced breakfast! “Studies show breakfast eaters tend to have higher school attendance, less tardiness and fewer hunger-induced stomachaches. They also score higher on tests, concentrate better, solve problems more easily and have better muscle coordination.” Be sure to include some protein that will keep you full for longer, as well as some fruit. Have lots of grab-and-go options available for those crazy mornings. Yogurts, granola and other cereals, instant oatmeal, and prepared ahead boiled eggs are great options.
  • Have snacks handy! Pre-packaged options are great in a pinch, but don’t forget about money saving options using zip-lock baggies. Buying in larger quantities and packaging your own is almost always a less expensive option when it comes to wheat crackers or dried fruits. Fruit and veggies such as grapes, apples, carrots, and celery are inexpensive, healthy options for an afternoon snack. One good packaged item is pre-measured cups of peanut butter. They can be time savers since you can grab them and go instead of the messier bigger containers.
  • Meal plan! Taking a little time to have set meals and everything prepared can save time and money. If you have set meals planned, there is less “what’s for dinner” conversations that could lead to choosing less-healthy options such as fast food. It also takes some pressure off when you get home late from work and everyone is hungry: there is already a meal planned and all of the ingredients there to make it!
  • Set aside some time on Sunday afternoon or evening to get together the upcoming week’s menu as well as snacks. Having a few grab-and-go options available for those extra crazy days that you just can’t plan for is always a good idea. Quinoa salads are great options to make on a Sunday and have ready for the early part of the week. Visit Cooking Light’s link below to see some recipes!

  • Keep your desk stocked! Keep some healthier soups and snacks stocked in your desk at work for those times when you just don’t have time to meal plan.
  • Keep your fridge stocked! If you keep healthy options such as fruits and vegetables readily available (and ready to eat: cleaned, chopped, and packaged in portion controlled containers), you’ll be more likely to eat those healthy options! If the junk food isn’t there, you can’t eat it!
  • Remember food is fuel! When filling you and your family’s “gas tank” would you rather fill it with options that will promote health, or options that will leave them feeling sluggish and not focused?
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