September is a Transition from Summer to Fall

September is definitely a transition month. Are you already immersed in a new school year as a teacher? Are you missing your college student who moved away from home a few weeks ago – like me? Are you enjoying a little more freedom since your preschooler started half days on Mondays and Wednesdays, including the ‘lunch bunch’? Back-to-school has advantages in terms of more consistent scheduling than summer and, for wellness’ sake, it is a signal to put healthy food and fitness back on your calendar.

Coincidentally, National Breakfast Month is celebrated in September, which makes me really happy because a nutritious breakfast sets everyone up for feeling great, thinking clearly and tackling a busy day. Do you make a healthy breakfast the top of your daily schedule? I suggest you do that – now!

September is National Breakfast Month – Tips Here!

If you are scratching your head wondering what exactly to put on your healthy breakfast menu and shopping list, then here’s help. Remember, there are no rules about what foods and beverages ‘count’ for breakfast so be as creative as you like!

Healthy Breakfast Shopping List:

Apples, cantaloupe, pears, grapes, whole wheat bread for toast, whole wheat tortilla for wrap sandwich, dried apricots, fresh eggs, turkey sausage or veggie sausage, light natural cheese, light cream cheese, nonfat cottage cheese, oatmeal, lower fat granola, 1% milk or soy milk, frozen soybeans, 100% juice.

Healthy Breakfast Meal Tips:

If you need more recipe ideas then check out these 20 Quick & Healthy Breakfast Recipes! You’ll need to scroll down slightly once you click the link.

Family Health & Fitness Day USA is September 28!

OK, all you family members – time for some ‘together time’ doing whatever you love to do that moves your body! The choices are basically unlimited and here’s a short list to get you thinking:

*Volleyball* Badminton* Swimming* Croquet* Roller skating* Softball* Walking the dog* Playing tennis* Zumba* Exercising at the Y* Playing basketball* Ice skating* Doing yoga* Climbing a mountain* Walking on the beach* Riding bikes* Playing tag* Rowing a boat* Doing the par course* Skipping at the park* Playing tug-of-war* Playing a game of horseshoes* Climbing up and sliding down a slide*

What fun activity will you choose?

Whole Grains are Really, Really Good For You!

I bet you’ve heard of whole grains. These nutrient-rich grains are being talked about more and more, and with good reason. Whole grains are plant foods to which nothing has been added and nothing has been taken away in processing. They are plant foods with the wholesomeness that nature put there and awesome flavors, too. Whole grains are rich in nutrition with a focus on complex carbohydrates, fiber, B-vitamins, vitamin E and minerals such as magnesium and iron. This Whole Grains 101 is a terrific way to learn all the details.

Here are some ways to enjoy whole grains at your meal table. Whole grains are highlighted.

  1. Switch from white rice to brown rice. If you buy the instant variety, it cooks in 10 minutes.
  2. Try quinoa by cooking it according to the box directions and then adding chopped veggies such as Bell peppers, onions, fresh parsley and basil, olives and fennel. Finally, dress it lightly with your favorite vinaigrette.
  3. Try a whole wheat cracker with a first ingredient, whole wheat.
  4. Include oatmeal in your breakfast or snack plan.
  5. Try making a homemade corn tortilla chip by cutting soft corn tortillas into fourths, placing them on a baking sheet in a single layer and then baking at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. It’s easy!

September & Cooking With Your Kids!

The fun of cooking with your kids is very special. From toddlers to young children to pre-teens to teens, momentum builds as kids learn important food and nutrition life skills.

Meals to Cook with Kids:

  1. Penne Pasta with Turkey Meatballs + Steamed Green Beans + Fall Baked Apples
  2. Whole Grain Pancakes + Canadian Bacon + Fresh Berry and Yogurt Smoothie
  3. 5-Ingredient Pizza + Green Salad with Carrots + Watermelon

Keeping it Safe with Kids:

The kitchen can be a fun place and a dangerous place for kids. Be sure to keep in mind some basic safety rules, such as having adult supervision when using sharp knives, a blender, the mixer, the oven and the stove. Also, take care with glass measuring cups and any sharp kitchen tools. Here is an article by a registered dietitian that offers a nice overview of safety as it interfaces with kids’ cooking skills at different ages. Click here to read it.

Do you have any tips on making the transition from summer to fall any easier? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

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