Get an 'A' in back-to-school nutrition
During summer break, healthy food and fitness often take a long vacation. For many, the vacation is ending and it's time to do some homework. Study these back-to-school tips for the start to a healthy school year. If you follow a balanced diet and stay physically active, there's no way you can't get an 'A' in back-to-school nutrition!
- Don't skip breakfast! Studies show children who eat breakfast perform better in school.
- If you pack a homemade lunch for your children, include a good balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat free dairy products, and lean meats and proteins.
- Provide new options! Pack exotic fruits like kiwi or allow your child to pick a fun new fruit or vegetable at the grocery store. They are more likely to eat their lunch if they helped prepare it.
- Reinforce cleanliness and remind your children to wash their hands before they eat or pack a moist towelette or hand sanitizer in their lunchbox.
- Physical activity and exercise are important and help improve a child's health. Children should be active for at least 60 minutes a day, and adults need to be active for at least 30 minutes a day. Make exercise a family affair and get the physical activity everyone needs! Go for a weekend hike, walk the dog together, or ride your bikes after dinner.
Try this quick and easy recipe for your child's lunch or mix it up and substitute a variety of their favorite vegetables instead.
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 4 ounces cooked skinless, boneless chicken
- 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons low-fat Italian vinaigrette
- 1 (6-inch) whole-grain pita, cut in half
- Combine spinach, chicken, bell pepper, and vinaigrette in a bowl; lightly toss and mix ingredients.
- Cut the pita pieces in half.
- Using a spoon, fill each pita half with the tossed ingredients.
- Once assembled, lay them flat and pack them up for your child to enjoy during lunch.