Each month Cindy Silver, a Registered Dietitian, gives us a great tips to stay healthy. Read on to find out about some fun activities, recipes and other facts to keep you and your family healthy all year long!
Let’s face it – many of us put away our strictest schedules and our strongest resolve to eat healthfully during ‘summer vacation.’ In August, though, it’s time to get back on-board and make nutritious choices top of the shopping list. Teachers at all levels and students will soon be in the classroom and better nutrition = more effective learning. Not only that, teachers and students who eat a healthy breakfast are more alert and productive all morning long. Teachers and students who choose a healthy lunch – from home or school – are less drowsy all afternoon long. Teachers and students who choose fresh air exercise to go along with good nutrition feel better, think clearer and enjoy every day more. The choice is always ours…I’ll go the good nutrition route. What about you?
Simple Meals for Busy School Days
August is the perfect time to get organized for simple school day meals. By planning a couple weeks ahead, the transition back-to-school will be smoother and less stressful for everyone. Here are 3 meals, with tips, for a busy school day:
Breakfast Menu: Chilled hardboiled egg + Half whole wheat bagel + Pineapple (fresh or canned) + 1% Milk
Tip: Make hardboiled eggs the night before. Place eggs in a pan and just cover with cold water. Place pan on the stove over medium-high heat, with lid on. When water boils, immediately turn off stove, let eggs sit in pan with lid and set timer for 14 minutes. When timer goes off, carefully pour out hot water from eggs and refill 2-3 times with cold tap water. When eggs are cool, place them in fridge for up to 5 days.
Lunch Menu: Sunflower butter & honey sandwich + Cherry tomatoes + Unsweetened applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon + 1% Milk
Tip: In the fall season, make your own applesauce by cooking quartered apples over medium low heat, skin on, in a large pot of water with a lid. When apples are soft, discard cooking water and press apples through a strainer to get rid of seeds, skins and cores. Season the applesauce with cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Place in the fridge for up to one week.
Dinner Menu: Turkey burger on small whole wheat bun + Coleslaw made with light mayo + Steamed sugar snap peas + Cantaloupe slice + 1% Milk
Tip: Try a veggie burger with this menu, too.
Back-to-School with a Bento Box Lunch
What do you think of when you hear ‘school lunch’? Sloppy Joe and an apple…Grilled cheese and canned pears…Spaghetti and sauce with garlic toast? If these combos don’t excite you, then it’s time for a change. Kids (and adults) all over Japan have been enjoying bento box lunches for decades and now we are catching on to this fun lunch sampler in the USA, too. It’s a treat to eat a bento box lunch and it’s a nice challenge to make one, too. Best of all, a bento box lends itself to small portions of healthy choices. This is the kind of lunch that you and your students will not want to trade in the school cafeteria! Here’s a fun video about how to make a bento box lunch – nutritiously. Enjoy!
Back-to-School & Work-Life Balance
Did you ever stop to think about all the pieces of your work-life puzzle? How well do you manage stress, for example? Do you consciously make time to spend with your family or children? Do you make a plan for healthy eating week-after-week? Is a night out with a good friend on your radar? Do you ever work on a business project Saturday or Sunday? All these are part of work-life balance and they have an effect on your personal health, social happiness and professional success. Perfect balance isn’t easy to find, though working at it is important. If you feel your balance slipping then take a personal inventory and make adjustments as you can.
After-School Snacks for Healthy Kids
When school gets going, kids need to do the same. They need healthy ‘fuel’ for all kinds of after-school activities such as ballet, soccer or Scouts. Here are 5 quick snacks that fuel kids of all ages, with less sugar, less salt and more fiber:
1. Natural cheese, like Provolone or Mozzarella, lightly melted onto a whole wheat tortilla or corn tortilla with/without salsa. Ole!
2. Frozen banana dipped into vanilla yogurt and rolled into chopped pecans or peanuts.
Note: To prepare, peel a ripe banana, roll in vanilla yogurt and choice of chopped nuts. Wrap up in plastic wrap and lay gently in freezer for 12-24 hours.
3. Half sandwhich on whole wheat pita bread. Fill with tuna salad or hummus and sliced cucumbers.
4. Cold, hardboiled egg.
5. Cooked oatmeal with raisins and almonds.