Back to School Already? 5 Healthy Food Tips for Happy Kids

School is back in session, and you’re ready to get back into a routine with the kids. That, of course, includes packing lunches. As you know, proper nutrition directly affects your child’s academic performance. But how do you get them away from the Cocoa Puffs and cookies? The first step is cleaning out the junk food that’s loaded with sugar and making sure healthy food for kids is always readily available. Once the kitchen is free and clear, start it’s time to start implementing these 5 nutrition tips to have a successful school year!

1. Start the Day with a Breakfast of Champions!

➡️Sugary cereal with juice is not going to keep your child full and focused during their first few hours in the classroom.

➡️Sugar causes a quick burst of energy (high), followed by blood sugar levels dropping (low).

➡️Let’s take a quick example of a popular kids’ breakfast: 1 cup of Cocoa Puffs (13 grams of sugar) plus 1 cup of apple juice (30 grams of sugar) is a whopping 43 grams of sugar! That’s 11 teaspoons of sugar first thing in the morning!

A more balanced breakfast includes protein, healthy fat, and low-glycemic carbohydrates.

✅A breakfast sandwich (turkey, egg, and cheese on a wheat English muffin) is a more balanced option providing protein, carbs, and fat.

✅Smoothie (Greek yogurt, banana, nut butter, and cocoa powder) contains Protein + Carbs + healthy fat from nuts. Greek yogurt has a good balance of carbs and protein to keep you full.2. Pack a Balanced Lunch

Follow the plate method:
1/2 plate:🥦🥒🥕🍅🍆
1/4 plate: 🍓🍇🥝🍠
1/4 plate: 🥩🍗🍳

By eating a balanced lunch, you will:
✅ Have more energy in the afternoon
✅ Increasing your intake of vitamins and minerals through fruits and veggies
✅ Help stabilize your blood sugar

Save this graphic for inspiration next time you are prepping your lunch! 
3. Drink Lots of Water

Did you know it takes 3-4 apples to make only one cup of juice? But you wouldn’t eat 4 apples in one sitting so stick with one in your homemade juice. 

While juice is marketed as a healthy option for kids, it is loaded with added sugar. Try swapping out the juice for water and having a piece of fruit on the side. During the juicing process, many of the vitamins and fiber from the fruit are lost, leaving nothing more than “sugar water” behind.

4. Snacking For Success

Healthy snacks can help your child stay focused in school and prevent overeating later in the day. We recommend balancing out your snacks with a healthy source of protein/fat and carbohydrate. Most of the snack foods geared toward kids are processed, low in fiber, and high in sugar. Try finding snack options that will help your kids stay focused and full between meals!Here are a few snack options:RX Kids BarApple with peanut butterTriple Zero Oikos Greek yogurt
5. A Balanced Dinner

The Plate Method is one of the easiest and most effective methods for improving diet by eating a balanced meal of high-quality foods. Your clients can utilize this method to incorporate your favorite foods and recipes into their diet.

Resources: Healthy Steps Nutrition

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