7 Back to School Nutrition Tips
7 Back to School Nutrition Tips
John Pierre is a nutrition and fitness consultant who has devoted over 25 years to improving the lives of others through his expertise in the areas of nutrition, fitness, women’s empowerment, green living, and cognitive enhancement. A dedicated activist, John works with people of all ages promoting the benefits of a plant-based diet, stress reduction, physical fitness, and the importance of compassion in life.
The foods our children eat today become the building blocks that support their health foundations for years to come. To make a lasting positive difference in our children’s health future means setting them on the right path with good eating habits, as those habits can sometimes last a lifetime.
Going back to school can be the perfect opportunity to introduce positive eating habits into a more structured schedule.The goal is to provide children with foods that are brimming with antioxidants and nutrients that will support their growing bodies and give them the energy they need for brain power and physical activities. And the secret to keeping children on course is enjoyment and imagination. When it comes to helping them get the nutrition they need, fun and creativity is the name of the game.
Consider implementing the following tips and tricks to get your children on the right nutritional track during school and after:
- Children love tasty foods. Luckily many fruits have the sweet goodness they’re looking for. If your children love fruits but avoid eating greens, consider introducing smoothies. A simple recipe can include your child’s favorite fruit, a nut milk such as So Delicious coconut, almond, or cashew milk, and a handful of greens. Most sweet fruits will mask the taste of greens, which makes fruit smoothies a great medium to “hide” greens and other nutrient dense vegetables that your child might not otherwise eat.
- Involve your children in the kitchen in some small way. Children like to learn new things and imitate adults and older siblings. Giving them a voice and an involving activity in the meal-making process encourages them to take responsibility and try the dishes they help create.
- Many children love the idea of popsicles and they can make a healthy and tasty snack. Simply blend a So Delicious “yogurt” alternative of your choice with fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, or cherries, along with a sprinkle of ground flax, chia, or hemp seeds, and pour into a popsicle mold and freeze. Another option would be to simply scoop the So Delicious “yogurt” alternative into the popsicle mold and add a whole strawberry, raspberry, pitted cherry, or several blueberries in the middle of the mixture. Your child would then be surprised by the berry or several berries found inside. You can make a game of it by asking them to guess what berry they’ll find when they bite their way through the frozen popsicle. This is a simple and easy way to increase your kids fruit or berry consumption year round.
- Include your children in your shopping experience, being diligent to spend time in the produce section. Point out interesting looking fruits and veggies that are in season and ask them if they’d like to try them at home. Engage in a dialogue about where food comes from and how it’s grown to inspire additional creativity and imagination in your child.
- Picky eaters will often hide their unwanted vegetable leftovers under other foods or merely smear them around the plate until mealtime is over. To avoid the leftover food and aggravation, try serving vegetable entrees in separate “self-serve” bowls.This way your child can choose the amount they want on their plate, giving them some command over their meal portions.
- Consider dicing up washed veggies and keeping them in separate glass containers in the fridge. Chopped carrots, celery, cucumbers, zucchini, along with other vegetables, can be kept ready-at-hand for quick snacks. Make healthy dips available such as hummus, guacamole, and baba ganoush. And avoid keeping unhealthy snacks in the house which children will inevitably find and eat.
- Invite the power of mild spices into your children’s diet. Adding a dash of basil, oregano, dill, or other high antioxidant spices that are not too potent can give your child an extra nutritional boost. A pinch of cinnamon in their nut milk smoothie, So Delicious “yogurt” alternative, or oatmeal adds a nice antioxidant touch.
The idea is to make mealtimes tasty, nutritious, simple, and fun. All these elements can help build healthy habits that will last a lifetime!
- 1-2 C. Child's favorite sweet fruit (mango, cherries, berries)
- 1½ C. So Delicious Dairy Free Nut Milk (Coconut, Almond, Cashew)
- 1 C. Greens (Spinach, Leafy Greens, Bok Choi)
- Just blend and serve.
- The mixture can also be frozen into popsicle molds and enjoyed later!