Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back to School

Summer winds down as the school schedule returns in full swing. Sometimes a shift in schedules, throws your meals for a loop. Whether you are a parent sending your little ones on the bus, driving to high school or college students in the dining hall, proper nutrition is essential to fuel your day. Positive dietary habits can start in childhood and carry throughout your lifespan.

Continue to be conscious of your choices during a busy schedule.  I've heard it before: "It's time consuming to cook healthy." Running to school and after-school activities, but nutrition is key to keep your body functioning. Utilize nutrition to take control of your health and help prevent illnesses. Being sick can also be costly and time consuming.

Tips to power up each meal or snack:
  • Aim to pair a fruit or vegetable with every meal and snack.
  • Start your day with breakfast.  Even if you are like me, waking up at the last second possible to be on time, grab a quick breakfast.  Breakfast will help you focus and can negatively impact your test scores if skipped.  Maintain a healthy weight with including lean protein such as eggs, yogurt, nuts and skip the processed meats (bacon & sausage).
  • Greek yogurt, low fat cottage cheese with fruit, protein smoothie, hard-boiled egg with fruit, flaxseed muffin, whole wheat toast with peanut butter, oatmeal mixed with nuts or seeds.
  • Pack satisfying snacks to give you a boost in between meals.  I remember the days watching the clock for the last lunch period.  Keep snacks handy to help regulate your blood sugar, but resist grabbing for cookies or candy.
  • Peanut or almond butter with whole wheat crackers/toast/English muffins, mixed nuts & fruit/dried fruit, hummus with vegetables, 100% fruit or vegetable juice with unflavored protein powder.
  • Healthy lunch choices can also be leftover dinner.  Skip the side of chips or fries.  Fill up with fiber and lean proteins to energize the rest of your day.
  • Prepare meals on Sunday night or one night that you have a little extra time.  Prepare a larger portion for dinner and separate a portion to freeze or place into individual containers to have left overs for lunch.
  • Black bean soup, vegetarian chili with mixed beans, stuffed peppers with lentils and brown rice or quinoa, tofu stir fry, chicken fajitas, greens with beans/nuts/avocado, pita with hummus and fresh veggies.
Enjoy being back in the learning atmosphere!