Soon it will be time to put away the bathing suits and start packing that new backpack. Back to school can be a pretty overwhelming time, and it’s easy for things like healthy eating to get pushed to the bottom of the priority list. Let’s talk about some basic tips to keep things on track:
Don’t Skip Breakfast
Start the day off right by making sure everyone gets breakfast before heading to school. Prevent morning chaos by doing as much the night before such as picking out outfits and packing backpacks so there’s actually time for breakfast.
Try to include some protein at breakfast as this can be more satisfying and filling compared to just a bowl of cereal. This is especially important if your kiddos have a later lunch. Some protein examples include eggs, yogurt, or a protein bar.
Make Lunch Count
If lunches are being brought from home, it’s easy to get in a rut of always packing the same foods. Sandwiches are always a good staple- make sure they are on whole grain bread to help meet fiber goals. Round them out with snackable vegetables like baby carrots and some fruit. Other good snacks are cheese sticks, whole grain crackers and nuts. If sandwiches are getting too monotonous, try packing wraps or salads instead. A yogurt parfait (think yogurt, granola, nuts, fruit) might just end up being a big hit! Don’t forget to pack the ice pack so foods stay safe.
Depending on schedules, an afternoon snack may be necessary to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner. Remember, snacks are snacks, not meals, so the portions don’t necessarily need to be that big.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to snack options. Cheese and crackers, popcorn, yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit, and vegetables dipped in hummus are always good selections. A small portion of leftovers could even be warmed up.
If you feel like your child is snacking excessively, set some guidelines. Explain that there should be ONE snack before dinner and that they can’t eat it right out of the bag. Preportion snacks into ziplock bags and stick them in a designated snack drawer. This way, your child can have the ability to choose, but you know they’re having an appropriate sized snack.