Back to School season is officially upon us. For some (read: students) it’s a fairly depressing time of year. For others (read: parents) it’s a slightly more joyous occasion. Whatever group you find yourself in, you’re undoubtedly prepping for the big return by stocking up on school supplies, consulting book lists and revising schedules. In the mad dash towards the beginning of the school year, don’t forget what’s most important: nutrition!
Whether you’re preparing lunches for your children or for yourself, there are some hard and fast rules you can follow to ensure that you’re making the most of the midday meal.
1. If you’re going to pack a sandwich, use whole grain bread and real meats. Never choose white bread or processed and cured cold-cuts– these foods might be easy to throw together but they’re nutritionally lacking.
2. Pack coconut water instead of juices or soft drinks. The electrolytes will give you the energy you need to finish out the day and you’ll avoid added sugars. For kids, give them flavored coconut water, like Thirsty Buddha’s All-Natural with Mango, to make their transition from juice boxes to healthier options more palatable.
3. Kids and adults alike can only eat so many carrots and celery as a snack before they start to yearn for something more exciting. Choose the healthy versions of foods you already love, like Luke’s Organic Chia Seed Crackers or Kale Chips. Your kids won’t even realize they’re snacking healthily, while you’ll be able to snack without sacrificing nutrition!
4. Make lunch fun! Whether you’re a university student lacking a little motivation or you’re packing a lunch for your kid who is less than excited to leave for school in the morning, a little creativity can go a long way! Learn how to make these cute Bento lunches. You’re kids will love them so much they won’t realize everything you’ve packed them is healthy!
5. Make time for fitness. Eating right is only half the battle. The daily grind of classes can really detract from your ability to stay active, but remember that it’s a necessity! Don’t let the kids stare at the TV as soon as they’re back from school, and don’t let all your studying stop you from getting a workout in! Whether it means waking up to exercise before class or cutting an hour of television time, you’ll never regret making time for fitness.
Implement these healthy habits at the beginning of the year and make a commitment to keep them up in the coming months– you’ll be glad you did!