Nutrition-Bites-Back-to-School-Basics

Nutrition Bites: Back to School Basics

In August, Kids Eat Right Month highlighted some great ideas to support nutritious breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for students headed back to school. Here are a few ideas to get students eating healthy this school year.

Breakfast can be a hard thing to fit into a busy morning; however, kids who eat breakfast are more likely to concentrate better, retain more information, and excel to higher levels in both reading and math! The night before, prepare a homemade parfait using non-fat yogurt, fruit, and graham cracker crumbles. Make whole wheat toast with peanut butter, or eat breakfast at school to start the day off right.

Lunch The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 brought a focus to school nutrition. This act continues to ensure school breakfasts and lunches provide healthy nutrition to students. With more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy and meat offered each day, students are more likely to make healthy choices.
If packing a lunch, be sure to wash out the lunch box with warm soapy water everyday to avoid food-borne illnesses. Perishable foods can spoil in as little as two hours, so use an insulated lunch bag with an ice pack or a frozen water bottle to prevent spoilage. Finally, pack healthier shelf stable items like whole fruit, no sugar added applesauce, or trail mix with dried fruit and nuts.

After School can be a tricky time to fit in nutritious foods. Instead of keeping chips or cookies on stock, try dipping vegetables with low-fat ranch dressing, or ranch dressing mix stirred into low-fat Greek yogurt. Other ideas include "Healthy Cookie Dough Dip," "Pizza Hummus," and more.

Be sure to visit www.eatright.org for more recipes, videos, and information for all ages!

Also, check out a summary of back-to-school health tips from the Aug. 6 #LiveFitNOLA Twitter Chat at http://bit.ly/LiveFitNOLASchool.

By Kelsey Rosenbaum MS, RD, LDN

(Nutrition Bites is a recurring feature that will appear regularly in the Tulane PRC’s e-newsletters and will cover nutrition and health tips from Kelsey Shanklin, MS, RD, LDN. If you have any suggestions for Nutrition Bites topics, please contact Naomi Englar at nking2@tulane.edu or 504-988-7410.)

Topics:   school food , school health , nutrition , diet , childhood obesity

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