Whether you’re taking Life Lessons 1101, shooing your kids onto the bus or just adjusting your work schedule for increased traffic, Back to School is the perfect time to re-evaluate and re-motivate. Here are a few food pointers to have a better back to school season.
- Keep it simple. Breakfast is important but don’t try to overdo it. If you stress yourself out making a five course meal, the breakfast habit probably won’t last more than a week. Keep things that are small and nourishing in stock.
- Whatever you choose, make sure it includes complex carbohydrates, a bit of protein and healthy fats. My personal breakfast on the run is a fruit & nut bar. Yogurt with granola always works and never forget oatmeal.
- Eggs, eggs, eggs. If you have a smidgen more time, don’t underestimate the ease and nutrient value of an egg with whole grain toast. Eggs are great for the brain!
- A special treat for the kids: The day before, dip bananas in their favorite flavored yogurt or flax oil, roll it in nuts and freeze. They’ll think they have the coolest parents ever! And they’ll enjoy making them too!
Lunch comes quickly, you’re hungry and you don’t have a lot of time. Do I even have to tell you to pack ahead? You know you won’t pick salad once you’re in the cafeteria line or fast food drive-thru. Be prepared.
- Make sure you pack water for yourself and your children. Office and school air systems are very dehydrating. Many buses are not air-conditioned and kids play hard. Give them a one up in class and avoid afternoon grumpies by keeping them hydrated. Skip juices with artificial flavors and colors. The additives are proven to cause behavioral problems and cognitive dysfunction. And I don’t care what the USDA school lunch program says. It’s not a fruit.
- Don’t over eat. You don’t want to be in a carbohydrate coma when you should be using your genius mind.
- Consider buying nitrate free meats and trading the cheese on your sandwich for greens and hummus. The money you save on cheese will make up for the extra cost of nitrate free meats.
- Men especially, try a salad with tuna and pumpkin seeds. Tuna and pumpkin seeds are great for prostate health.
- Bring your cut veggies and diced fruit. Whatever kind you like. Just get working on your minimum fruit & veggie requirement. If you aren’t inspired to eat them by lunch time, you’ll eat them when you hit that 2:00 blood sugar/boredom slump. Trust me. And if your kids skipped them at lunch, they will be hungry enough to eat them mid afternoon or on the bus ride home.
- Skip the chips and crackers all together; we consume plenty of processed carbs.
- Let go of the notion that you need to pack cheese and yogurt. Often times these products reach unsafe temperatures and very few Americans are really lacking necessary amounts of dairy in their diets. Dairy creates mucous. If you don’t want to clear your throat excessively during your presentation, skip the dairy.
I always look at the new school year as my New Years. A great opportunity when the world around me is bustling with the energy of new beginnings and forcing me to change my patterns. Pick a couple or all of these tips and set a resolution. I wish you a happier & healthier Back to School.