Kids are learning at a rapid pace, and their awareness extends beyond the classroom. Along with social skills, they’re learning how to accept responsibility, which includes how to take care of themselves. With the pressure to perform well academically, the importance of nutrition can fall to the wayside. And while it may be second-nature for an adult to consider their eating schedule for the day, kids often times need more guidance in understanding what their body needs to function optimally.
To help you teach your kids how to keep themselves energized through the school day, here are three simple tips:
1. Eat a balanced breakfast
Why is breakfast so important? Eating breakfast helps maintain energy levels, uphold satiety and helps kids establish regular eating patterns.
When we sleep, our bodies are still using energy – our hearts are beating, our lungs are breathing and our tissues are undergoing growth and repair. Upon waking, our cortisol levels are elevated (cortisol: a hormone indica...
It’s the beginning of the school year and time to take a fresh look at what your family is eating between lunch and dinner. Our lives are so jam packed with events, practices and meetings that every day might mean a different lunch and dinner time, so snacks will vary, too. While some kids may be getting snacks at school, ensuring that you always have a convenient healthy option helps to avoid the pitfalls of rushed snacking with sub-optimal choices.
A few ideas:
Clementines or bananas – easy to transport and packed with nutrients to stave off hunger.
Amount = 2 clementines or 1 banana
Dips – hummus, black bean or low-fat yogurt; whatever your kids like means they’ll eat it!
Amount = 2 tbsp of dip
Whole wheat tortilla roll-ups – spread one of those dips with some green peppers slices for a hearty snack.
Amount = 1/2 tortilla + 1 tbsp dip + peppers
Low-fat plain Greek yogurt with flax seeds – high in protein, calcium and omega-3s, this nutty and creamy snack wi...
Walk down the aisle of your grocery store and you will see a myriad of different snack bars to choose from: breakfast bars, granola bars, meal replacement bars, cereal bars, energy bars. Colorful packaging jumps out at you with the claims “tasty,” “healthy,” “nutritious,” or “high in fiber.”With the pace of life as busy as it is today, bars can be great to have on hand, whether rushing out the door without time for breakfast or reaching into your bag for a mid-day snack. They’re convenient, compact and readily available.
But how nutritious are they? Are we really getting a healthier form of energy than we would from a candy bar?
The answer? It depends. To truly judge just how nutritious a bar is, we need to examine the label critically.
-Does it have at least 3g of fiber? Fiber helps slow digestion so the energy from the bar lasts longer and is also great for heart and digestive health.
-Does it have at least 5g of protein? Protein also helps us to feel sat...
As the health of our children continues to be at the forefront of U.S. school foodservice policy, here’s what policymakers and school communities are thinking about, talking about and putting into action.
New Ways to Incorporate More Fruits and Vegetables: single-serve packages of sliced fresh fruits and vegetables for students on-the-go; allergy-free trail mix made with dried fruit; unsweetened apple and pear sauce; smoothies; fruit and veggie beverages, baked sweet potato “fries” and puffs; felafel and hummus.
Whole Grain Rich Foods – For Snacking Too!: whole grain pancakes and waffles, whole grain pretzels, crackers, majority of breads served are whole grain, in addition to whole grain salads and incorporating whole grains in soup.
Lower-Sodium Foods: reduced sodium sauces for stir fry dishes; reduced sodium salsa and pasta sauce; reduced sodium deli meats; fresh, whole foods prepared in house.
Kid Favorites Made Healthy: pizzas made with whole grain cru...
Starting from the bottom, layer the blueberries, then 1 1/2 oz. of yogurt, then raspberries, and granola. Top with a dollop of the remaining yogurt, then the blackberry, strawberry, kiwi, mango and star fruit. Keep chilled until served.
1 cup quick oats
¼ cup dark brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1 oz. canola oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients. Lay flat onto a sheet pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Makes 1 parfait.
Recipe by Angelo S., Flik Independent School Dining Senior Director of Dining Services
Blend the first 11 ingredients together in a blender until smooth and place in a bowl. Add half the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into a greased 9” x 9” pan. Pour the rest of the chocolate chips on top and bake in 350 degree oven for...
For this recipe, there will be 6 different flavors of yogurt: blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, mango, cranberry, fig, and vanilla.
In a small sauce pot, combine 1 cup of water, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and blueberries. Cook over low heat for approximated 30 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula every 3-5 minutes. Be sure not to scorch or burn, if your heat is too high, adjust it to cook at a lower temperature. When blueberries begin to break down, remove from the heat and pour them and the remaining cooking liquid into a heat safe container and place uncovered in the refrigerator for 1 hour or until chilled. Repeat this process with the remainde...