It’s that time of year again – the kids are heading back to school. I have compiled a to-do list and also a list of resources that have helped me and what I recommend to friends, family and patients. I hope you enjoy!
Back to school prep to make September a breeze.
Every family has a philosophy about school lunches. Mine, along with many parents, is that our school lunches are definitely lacking nutrition. Here are 4 reasons to pack a healthier option for lunch and snacks: 1) Cheese filled breadsticks is considered a meal and marinara dipping sauce is counted as a vegetable 2) Milk is a requirement (or so they say) and water is not recommended 3) Snacks are 5 grapes and milk or juice (this year they offer chocolate milk)
**Bottom Line: Their growing brains are not being replenished with whole food nutrition
To add to the full school day, what if these kids have activities until after supper, especially if they are competing? Have they had proper nutrition to be able to successfully get through their day? Here are some quick and healthy “pick-me-up’s” that work for our family. We love Costco and strive for mostly GMO-free and organic products. We get all of these products in little packs so they are easy to put into my lunchbox or bag and they don’t need to be refrigerated.
- Beef jerky
- Applesauce packets
- Cliff bars
- Cups of fruit
- Apples, oranges
- Energy balls (see recipe below)
As for planning, here is our 5-step process:
- Print out the school food menu for your child (on your school’s website) and hang on the refrigerator. Evaluate the entire day’s nutrition (breakfast, lunch and supper) and take that into consideration when crossing off certain meals of the week.
- Plan your menus (WITH your kids). Share some recipe books and websites with them so they create a list of 10 favorites.
- From the top 10 recipes, create your menu. Here is a great menu template that I follow from The Nourishing Home: http://thenourishinghome.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/Momables-Meal-Plan-JPEG.jpg. There are also sites that you can purchase weekly meal plans for a nominal fee.
- Purchase your groceries and food storage items – lunchbox, food storage, thermos, water bottles.
- Order groceries and products online (Amazon is my friend)
- Cook once, eat twice (or more).
Here are a few of my favorites to share:
- Energy balls: http://eat-drink-love.com/2013/04/no-bake-energy-bites/
- Products that I love:
- Thermos: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004S1D2/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=navica-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00004S1D2
- Food storage containers: http://www.lunchbots.com/products/
- Water bottles: http://alphamom.com/parenting/parenting-products-services/best-water-bottles/
If you have tried and true recipes and products, share with us. We are a tribe and continue to be better because of each other. Cheers to an awesome 2015-16 school year with your kids!