Healthy Tips: Back to School
1. Make breakfast a priority for the whole family. Don’t skip!
Skip the sugary cereals and add plenty of protein to keep you full and focused all day. Here are some quick breakfast ideas:
Hard boiled eggs + Fruit + Whole grain blueberry muffin
Eggs+ Fruit + Whole grain toast and butter
Parfaits layered with fruit, chopped nuts and cottage cheese or Greek yogurt
Frozen, whole grain waffles or pancakes toasted, spread with peanut butter and topped with fruit + a glass of milk
2. Save time and prepare lunches for entire family at the same time.
Let your kids help by having them select a food from each food group – protein, veggies, fruit, whole grains and dairy
Bento-box style – sliced deli meat and cheese, whole grain crackers or popcorn, snap peas and berries
Salad for you and “Deconstructed” Salad for kids (separate salad ingredients and have salad dressing on side as dip). – Include a variety of veggies and add protein (tuna, deli meat, eggs, cheese, beans, nuts, seeds, edamame). Store your dressing on side to avoid soggy salads.
Sandwiches and Wraps – Use whole grain bread and tortillas for kids. Try low carb bread and tortillas for you or lettuce leaves in place of tortillas, or sliced cucumbers in place of bread for mini sandwich bites. Fill with egg, tuna, chicken or salmon salad.
Leftovers – Use a thermos to keep your kid’s meal warm until lunch time and put yours in a microwavable container and reheat at work.
3. Snacks = Mini Meals – include two food groups in each snack (include food groups that your kids don’t get enough of)
Get creative and have fun making your snacks look like faces or bugs. Kids are more likely to eat them.
Veggies with dip such as hummus, guacamole or you can make your own by mixing plain Greek yogurt with ranch or French onion seasoning packet
Celery sticks or apple slices with peanut butter – make it fun for kids and sprinkle dried fruit, coconut flakes and/or chopped nuts
Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit
Trail Mix – make your own by mixing together your favorite nuts, seeds, mini whole grain crackers or popcorn and dried fruit
4. Dinner – Plan balanced meals by including protein, whole grains, veggies, fruit and dairy
Look at schedule and plan dinners accordingly – Be realistic about how much time you have to prep. Some of your dinners may need to be quick and easy.
Rotisserie Chicken + Frozen Vegetables + Boil-in-a-bag brown rice
Crockpot Meals – write down your favorite crockpot meals for weeks you know you won’t have time to cook. Do the prep work the night before (chopping and measuring ingredients) so all you have to do is add ingredients to crockpot and turn it on.
Sheet Pan Meals – Look up sheet pan meals with your favorite protein and vegetables. Prep ingredients the night before and place on a sheet pan and put in oven when you get home for another quick dinner.
5. Make large batches of meals
Use in other meals throughout the week in a different variation or freeze for another week
Italian meat sauces – can be used to stuff peppers, over pasta or zucchini noodles or to make casseroles
Taco meat or fajita chicken/beef – can be used for salads, nachos, tacos, rice bowls, stuffed peppers
Soups and Stews