Back to school is here for many students in the greater Tyler, Texas and East Texas area. When kids head back to the classroom, parents have the responsibility of homework assignments, class projects, class trips, after school activities, sports and planning healthy food choices. With the 2016-2017 school year right around the corner for many families, Tyler Wellcare wants to share back to school nutrition tips all families can follow.
Food is normally on the top of the list when parents think about another school year. Trying to create healthy meals and snacks during a busy day can be stressful. Planning a healthy meal and tasty snacks can be easy with a little prep work and following these simple tips.
- Make lunch fun by purchasing an age appropriate lunch box your child picked out.
- Make a meal plan and pack ahead of time. This is quite easy to do with fruits, veggies, crackers, beverages, etc.
- Have the kids help plan and pick out their lunches.
- Have a fun, nutritious snack planned for after school when the kids arrive home.
Back to School Breakfast Nutrition Tips
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day for both kids and adults. To help encourage a healthy breakfast each morning, plan a time to sit down and eat with the kids before heading off to school and work. A healthy, balanced breakfast does not have to take hours to prepare. A bowl of whole-grain cereal or oatmeal with fruit is a quick and healthy breakfast option.
Back to School Lunch Nutrition Tips
Even though many schools have revamped their menus to provide better meal options, many families still choose to pack lunches the kids are sure to enjoy. Here are several tips to help ensure a healthy, kid-friendly lunch.
- Most importantly, let the kids recommend food choices. This will help guarantee the food is eaten and not thrown away.
- Avoid processed and pre-packaged foods full of preservatives, sugar and fats, if possible.
- Include protein choices to help them stay full longer, such as tuna salad, a hard-boiled egg, hummus or nut butter.
- Use leftovers from dinner in a creative way so food does not go to waste.
- Choose healthier side dishes such as yogurt, cheese sticks, dried fruit and veggies instead of chips.
- Pack water, milk and 100% fruit juices instead of sodas and fruit-flavored pouches.
After School Snack Nutrition Tips
The majority of children will be hungry after school no matter what they ate for breakfast and lunch. Packing an extra healthy snack in the lunch box may be a good idea if your child rides the bus home, otherwise, have a variety of right sized snacks at home to fill them up until dinner. Good snack ideas include a granola bar with yogurt or an apple with peanut butter.
Tyler Wellcare wishes all of the kids heading back to school in the greater Tyler, Texas area the best of luck. We also hope these nutrition tips will help all busy parents plan a healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks.