Back to School with Healthy Meals
Just when you were finally settled into the freedom of summer, and the ability to exercise and eat right at your leisure, here comes a new school year. Whether you’re a parent or a student, you know that the school year can wreak havoc on the eating habits of families. But this year, you have the chance to start things off right. With healthy quick recipes and tailored grocery lists, you can prepare healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners -made with fresh ingredients. It’s even helpful for college students.
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: don’t skip breakfast! There’s ample evidence to show that the simple act of eating breakfast — every day — is a big part of weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. It gives you brain power and keeps you from starvation eating during the rest of the day. And the best part? It jump starts your metabolism!
Perhaps the biggest challenge of the day is making an easily portable, yet nutritious and delicious lunch. It’s hard for working parents and students alike. Because of this, we find ourselves reaching for “easy” fixes that are high in empty calories, but leave us craving snacks later in the day.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Bento Boxes and other portion control lunch box systems are a great investment.
- Prepping lunches the night before is key.
- Plan your recipes in advance and rotate them out each week.
- Skip the chips and send fresh vegetables or fruit.
- Choose beverages that are low in sugar (diet soda, no-sugar added fruit juices, white milk, water and unsweetened tea.)
- If you want to sweeten drinks or recipes, choose a zero-calorie sweetener, such as aspartame, saccharin, stevia or sucralose, over sugar.
Here are some great recipes to try:
Dinner, the final food frontier. After a long day, many of us wish it was just ready when we hit the door. The good news is that many nights it can be ready to go. You just have to make enough of each dish to last 2-3 nights. And if you have leftovers you’re not in the mood to eat now, just freeze them for another day. Waste not, want not. Tonight’s pasta dish could be next week’s dinner in a pinch. It’ll save your family a lot of money if you cook healthy meals in bulk.
We’re providing a variety of healthy recipes for your family to try:
- Portion sizes need to stick to a serving for each person. An easy fix is to serve your food on smaller plates and don’t go back for seconds.
- If you still feel hungry, drink a glass of water and take a short walk after you eat. More often than not, you’ll find that you really are full after all.
Desserts should be small and lower in calories. In fact, unless you’re having fresh fruit, you probably should stick to having dessert once or twice a week. It’s a treat, not a staple of dinner.