How is it back to school time already?! Hope you had a great summer! I know if you have kids going back to school, it is a crazy time so I wanted to put together a blog to help you and your kids get off to a healthy start this school year. Creating balanced diets for kids that include lean proteins, healthy fats, minimally processed carbohydrates and lots of fruits and veggies will do more than just set them up for a lifetime of good habits. According to FamilyDoctor.org a balanced diet for children can also:
Stabilize their energy.
Improve their minds.
Even out their moods.
Help them maintain a healthy weight.
Help prevent mental health conditions. These include depression, anxiety, and ADHD.
Plus, having a healthy diet and focusing on nutrition are some of the simplest and most important ways to prevent the onset of disease. Healthy eating can help prevent many chronic diseases. These include obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Around half of all Americans have one or more of these illnesses.
As a Mom, I know I am the gatekeeper to my whole family’s nutrition. I do most of the grocery shopping (well InstaCart does) and meal planning. It is super important for me to set my family up for life long success with their nutrition. Every meal I aim to hit all 4 categories in the correct portion sizes for proteins, fat, carbohydrates and veggies. For snacks, I let the kids choose. I understand too that MOST days are crazy busy for all of us, so you may not have the time to read all the labels of different brands to figure out what will work best. I’m also not the Betty Crocker type, I do not enjoy cooking or meal prepping (there I said it) and as a business owner I don’t have a lot of time to be in the kitchen. SO even better, all my suggestions are very simple, quick and require minimal prep time. You are welcome.
I’ve been studying nutrition and reading labels for more than a decade and wanted to share our favorites. In parentheses next to each item I put what macro nutrient category it falls into so you can see the balance. (having protein, fat and carbs in each meal)
- Jimmy Deans Delight English Muffin Turkey Sausage, Egg Whites & Cheese (P,F,C)
- Hard Boiled Eggs (P,F) with Cereal & 2% milk (P,F,C)
- Egg white (P) scramble – shredded potatoes (C) , chopped spinach, cherry tomatoes & cheese (F)
- Turkey or chicken sausage (P,F) with frozen Kodiak waffles with sugar free syrup (P,F,C) .
- Triple Zero Greek yogurt topped with fruit (P,C) Kind Bar Mini (F)
- FlapJacked Mighty Muffins (P,F,C)
- Ham on Multigrain Sandwich thins with mustard (P,C), Kind Bar Mini or Nut bar (F) and baby carrots
- Peanut butter (F), 1/2 banana in a whole wheat wrap (C), with Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boo Roasted Broad Fava Bean Snacks (P,C) or string cheese (P,F) and mini cucumbers.
- StarKist Lunch To-Go Chunk Light Mix Your Own Tuna Salad (P,F,C) with mini sweet peppers.
- West End Cuisine Grilled Chicken Skewers (P) with Naan bread mini (C), mini cucumbers and Jif Power Up Creamy Clusters (F)
- GoodFood Cranberry/Almond Chicken Salad (P,C) with PopCorners (C,F) and mini sweet peppers.
For their packed lunch drink we use flavored water, Kool-Aid Jammers Zero Sugar or water bottles with sugar free water enhancers.
We have a fruit bowl on the counter, a drawer in the fridge with veggies and snacks and a snack drawer in the pantry the kids can reach. They are allowed one snack everyday after school when they get home. They get to pick a snack and are allowed unlimited veggies.
- Fruit: bananas, clementines, apples, pears, blueberries, strawberries
- Veggies: veggie trays, mini cucumbers, mini sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes
- Hard boiled Eggs
- Triple Zero Greek Yogurt
- Enlightened Bada Bean Bada Boo Roasted Broad Fava Bean Snacks
- Kind Bar Mini or Nut bar
- Peanut Butter Jelly on whole wheat
- Made Good Granola Minis
- Jif Power Up Creamy Clusters
- THINK Kids Protein bars
- HIPPEAS Organic Chickpea Puffs
- Twin Peaks Protein Puffs
You can find a lot of these products on Amazon HERE
I do not have a bullet point list for dinners. The reason is these change for us every night. We have a few staples, but we use a service called Emeals to plan out our dinners, they have different plans you can choose from. I mostly stick to “Quick & Healthy” family plan. (you know that whole not liking to cook thing). They have other great plans if you enjoy cooking too. My favorite part is that Emeals and InstaCart work together, as soon as you put together your weekly menu it creates a shopping list that you can send off to Instacart to get all your groceries delivered right to your door. I plan out our whole week and order groceries in under 30mins and I feel like a rockstart. I promise the recipes are simple to cook too.
Hope this helps get you and gives you some fresh ideas for this school year! Keeping your whole family on track and eating healthy does not have to be time consuming or complicated. YOU can do this.