School is finally back in session. Plus, students will be taking some of those basic essentials, motivation and brain power with them into the classrooms. But what children and teens really need for extended survival is to develop nutritional confidence along the way, through healthy eating and junk food avoidance. So when it comes to a typical morning wake up breakfast, students should drink skim milk, fresh natural fruit smoothies or orange juice. Try eating whole grain fiber cereals such as kashi, raisin bran, great grains, cheerios and cascadian organic cereal. Whole grain waffles by Eggo’s nutri grains, kashi, etc top them with sliced fruits, jam preserves (sugar free smuckers) or molasses. Whole grain toast, english muffins, bagels and turkey link sausages. Oatmeal and hot cereals like Quaker oats (rolled oats, low sugar instant) steel cut oats, irish oatmeal and cream of wheat.
Children and teens can stir in dates, cranberries, figs, cinnamon, walnuts, etc. Another great chooice would be a breakfast yogurt parfait ( fat free or greek yogurt). For parfait suggestions, go to www. allrecipes.com, kaboose.com and simplebites.net. According to a missouri families.org study, children and teens who eat a morning meal tend to perform better in school, score higher on tests, have higher school attendance and less tardiness. Also, have better concentration, muscle coordination and less likely to be overweight.
Healthy food ideas for your kids lunch box: To make sandwiches on 100% whole wheat bread, try leaner cuts of turkey and ham; lowfat peanut butter, almond butter and nutella ( swirl in a little bit of honey, nutmeg and cinnamon); tuna and chicken salad whole grain tortilla wraps. Soup alternatives: Vegetable, chicken and tomato type soups by Healthy Choice and Campbell’s “healthy request” these soups are much lower in sodium too. Students can put soups in thermal containers to keep it remaining hot until they dive in. More additional ideas to add: Place sliced veggies and seedless grapes in medium size zip loc plastic bags. Pack a whole piece of fruit or dried fruit mixtures. Whole wheat/grain crackers (put strings of low fat part skim mozzarella cheese on top). Graham crackers, ginger snaps (nabisco), whole grain chocolate chip cookies, granola bars ( nature valley, kashi, cascadian). Kids will love easy to take fruit and pudding cups by Delmonte’s 100% juice in different varities; citrus salad, pineapple chunks, mixed berry, mandarian oranges and blueberries/blackberries. Also, unsweetened applesauce, jello and snack packs.
Children and teens can pack bottled water and 100% fortified vitamin rich real fruit juices with no heavy sugars. When buying lunch totes or lunch carriers be sure it insulated to keep certain foods cold or warm. Childhood obesity is the reason why doctors are seeing so many widespread cases of diabetes, osteoarthritis and high blood pressure diagnosed in younger patients at an early age. Because some have enormous bad eating habits and are not fitting in enough physical recreational activities, linked to greasy fast food, playing hours and hours at the computer, watching lots of tv, food tempting commercials, unhealthy vending machines, loaded sugary sodas and fattening snacks.
For more info, go to lunchinabox.net, choosemyplate.gov and cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity